Monday looking like a full response as we ramp up

Things got real serious for a Monday.

Where. Did. Everyone. Go.

Is it me?

Additionally, as things start to get serious, let’s recap today’s PIO fun.

  • OHSEM’s IAP in motion (well done PSC).
  • ICS-205 up (nice work COML).
  • Insight provided by our Liaison Officer (LOFR to the rescue).
  • External Affairs’ JIC plans/format laid out and pushed (meeeeeeeee).
  • “Do what you gotta do” orders from the Director (roger that).

And then radios were distroed.

Test test. Clarance, do you have clearance?

Heh. My COML is going to kill me. Where’s my radio strap?!?

Reporting live…

@rusnivek

 

A few moments with my favorite JIC Managers

A glimmering light of happiness as I got a chance to spend a few moments with my favorite Joint Information Center (JIC) Managers Beth DeJesus and Erica Creech.

(L to R): Beth DeJesus, Kevin Sur, and Erica Creech. Photo cred: EllaMonster

Beth and Erica were my JIC Managers throughout the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Additionally, Beth was the Cleveland JIC Manager during the December 2016 Christmas plane crash out of Burke. Erica was my JIC Manager during the 2014 Ebola case in Cleveland, 2012 Hurricane Sandy Response, and the 2013 three girls missing in Cleveland case.

During our quick meet up, we talked about work/careers and ongoing efforts. And yeah, they tried to get me to move back to Cleveland.

But most importantly, we talked about family, kids, and the things that really mattered. Hard to believe but this PIO thing isn’t easy and in leadership roles, it’s hard to find people/friends who truly understand the complexities of the position and can sympathize in the daily challenging situations. We all have armor, we just need to decide how long we wear our protective gear.

Just like back in the day, we were able to slot back into our normal self and the redic things that come with Emergency Support Function ESF-15. I miss that kind of camaraderie and the cohesive bonds we shared with so many of our public safety partners from across the state.

Yeah, I miss my favorite JIC Managers…

@rusnivek

 

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer course here at Defiance County EMA

Day-2 of the FEMA OEMA Basic Public Information Officer course here at Defiance County EMA.

As we start to expand the roles of the PIO, we gotta talk about social media and the impact it has on our every day tasks representing our brand…aka our agency.

Like all info on social media, there’s a ton of things to cover and we won’t be able to talk about ALL platforms. But we can talk about the primary ones that make a difference for any public safety agency.

Also a good time to share one thoughts with you too:

“I don’t care how many followers you have, I care about how you engage all of the followers you do have.” – @rusnivek

Much like Shania Twain, the volume of followers don’t impress me much. What makes a really good social media-er, is how that agency engages with their followers they do have.

I often get asked about in class mock interviews. We still do them as they are incredibly important for participants in a safe learning environment.

But ask any of my participants. They will tell you that it’s pretty real.

Additionally, how I facilitate that part of class nurtures and allows for self-reflection amongst all participants. This ain’t my first rodeo. My peeps are good as we prep them for a really bad day.

Mock press conferences allow our participants to put together a few skills they learned just yesterday.

Just like real press conferences, mock reporters are able to ask questions and test some techniques on running a successful press conference.

The best part?

Participants worked it like pros and did an excellent job in running the pressers! NOOICE!!!!!

Great teamwork and collaboration with everyone here. Strong support network, solid coordination, and nice weather – always a winner!

Proud of the work from everyone in class today.

I’m totes looking forward to tomorrow’s course – FEMA JIC/JIS Course

@rusnivek

FEMA Basic PIO Course here at Defiance County EMA

It’s just another Manic Monday as we start another FEMA OEMA Basic PIO Course here at Defiance County Emergency Management Agency (Ohio). Cue the Guns n Roses intro music!

Not going to lie, all signs point to a large contingent from our law enforcement community here today.

Lots of new PIOs in the audience today as we try to share the good word from so many agencies. Almost every ESF is represented!

All-hazards coolio on Monday!

As an added instructor bonus, we get a chance to see what campaigns that Ohio EMA has worked for previous outreach activities in Ohio. Hi Nancy!!!!!

My lunch time views include a few red fire trucks.

Ahhhhh, I feel better now.

And in classic fashion, we are most definitely doing on-camera interviews.

While seemingly insignificant, this is the part of the class that participants find is the most valuable for their ongoing career.

Me? I’d rather you have that experience and training and never use it vs never having that training and then being thrown to the wolves in a crisis or emergency.

Train like you fight right?

Reporting live from the EOC as I ask those challenging media-esque questions…

@rusnivek

Social Media Engagement Strategies for the AZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ peeps!

Thirsty Thursdays are here and we’re popping another Social Media Engagement Strategies class here at Pima County EMA (Arizona).

And of course we gotta keep it real to the course creator – our good friend Cheryl Bledsoe!

For those that know the origins of this picture, know how important it is for us to keep it consistent.

As instructors, we often love to incorporate pop culture references into class. This class was no different.

Oh yeah! Luckily it isn’t Wednesday.

So great to see collaboration with the NPS Wildfire folks. Also great to see a fellow Type-1 PIOs in the audience too.

Great minds think alike as we continue to prepare and engage various audiences…including during non-fire season.

Not only are we prepping tweets and Facebook posts, we are also diving deep into strategy.

Plans are soooooo important esp when we focus in on social media. Yes, many PIOs are responsive, but we also need to be strategic about our operations. When participants walk away from this class, they have in hand, a starting point for social media strategy that includes their partner agencies.

Since we can’t just run and gun, we must not cross the streams.

Ray, just don’t look at the trap.

Outstanding discussion amongst all participants as we share success stories and challenges we face daily on social media.

More importantly, it’s good to see genuine smiles in class. Lotsa smiles.

Facilitating discussion helps enhance relationships with all providers in disaster response and recovery. Additionally, people can address gaps and maybe…MAYBE find an agency that can assist or mutual aid in to fill that shortfall.

Proud to bring this engaging class to our partners in Arizona!

@rusnivek

FEMA Basic PIO Day-1 at Summit County (OH) Public Health

Another fine start to the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer class here in Summit County, Ohio!

Many thanks to the pros at the Summit County Health Department who are hosting this week’s class.

Outstanding hospitality as always!

And of course special thanks to Jena Beckett and the team from Summit County EMA for enhancing their team’s knowledge on the fun of being a Public Information Officer!

We are in the command room this week so you know it’s serious!

As always, we lay the groundwork for successful operations for any PIO.

But we also share real-world experiences that could help in their daily routines to better their visibility. And yes, of course we still do all the media mock interviews.

Public health is a great partner when it comes to outbreaks and opioid intervention tactics so many of our participants opted to test their media skills on an outbreak and response.

Also great to have former Columbus newsies Rachel Feeley on our PIO side (now with Ohio Department of Health) as we continue our mock interviews for everyone.

See, deep down inside, some reporters want to be public safety PIOs. ūü§£

For those newly assigned PIOs, we get them on camera as soon as possible!

The whole idea is that we expose new PIOs to this kind of media interview(s) so they aren’t shocked the first time they do it in real life. It’s always a bit more nerve racking when you are n00b PIO and have a bunch of mics and high intensity lights shoved in your face during the start of a major disaster or crisis.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand finally, a big shout out to my team across this great nation as FEMA turns 40 this week!

Here’s a quick video that External Affairs put together.

Proud to work along side all of you through countless disasters.
@rusnivek

Morning meetings w/ Chicago Police PIOs at CPD HQ

Morning meetings today with all the Chicago Police Department Communications Team at HQ!

Sharing some tips and news in workshop format about ongoing public safety operations as well as coordinated efforts will help all of us as PIOs. #PIAT

All the coordination enhances our ability to be a more prepared deployable asset to support other agencies of the like.

And for those wondering, the world of PIOs, PAOs, and ESF15 is very small. No matter the size of the disaster or hurricane, every good PIO knows other good PIOs.

Great to meet the team from CPD and looking forward to working with each other to support the mission of public safety for municipalities across this great country.

Special shout out to the CPD team Anthony, Tom, Michael, and Luis.

Me? Yep-proud to continue to serve so many great communities.

@rusnivek

Morning peeps! #Irma 

‪Morning peeps. Lotsa hurry up and wait.

I’m glad to be supporting our response mission with solid FEMA PIO work. #Irma #FL ‚Ĩ


@rusnivek

Great training resource discussion with the State of Maryland EMA

I stopped by the State of Maryland’s Emergency Management Agency and EOC.


I had a chance to sit down with Executive Director Russell Strickland and talk about various Training & Exercise plans including a few ways to enhance their plans. Also caught up with the famous Doc Lumpkins!


Yep, that’s our classic pose. It’s the same pose as the EMI conference, White House Disaster Day, NEMA Conference, etc….

Obv we all had to have a quick meeting with City of St. Louis EMA Sarah Gambling-Luig.


#FlatSarah had to go to another meeting concerning #CityHallSelfie so the rest of us stayed to plan for upcoming classes.

Great discussion on various aspects of social media focusing on gathering information for tactical operation for SA/COP. Emily and Ed provided some great insight to upcoming plans for Maryland. Additionally, we also had a chance to chat about ready deployable PIOs to field tactical operations, Joint Information Centers (JICs), Incident Management Teams (IMTs), and increasing SA/COP for State of Maryland.


Looking forward to more PIO involvement with my Maryland peeps!

@rusnivek