Breaking news from the official State of Columbia PIO… #APIO

Wait a second…WAIT A SECOND!!!!

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2020 FEMA Advanced PIO class. Photo cred: TheGabeLugo

Is that the State of Columbia Public Information Officer making a solid appearance at the 2020 January FEMA EMI Advanced PIO class?!?

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OMG~!!! I’m #famous

“I’d like to thank the support of the State of Columbia Governor Düsseldorf (aka Maryland EMA PIO Ed McDonough) for his unwavering support through these years as the State of Columbia PIO…”

Special thanks to Super CCN Reporter Mr. LukeSkyWatcher on his outstanding stories on this evolving incident here in Central City and Emerald City in the State of Columbia.

Photo cred: Niki Bender (@NikiBender)

“We vow to work the recovery for our cities, who are the true beating heart of our State of Columbia. We will dedicate resources to strengthen and rebuild affected areas. Together, we will continue to build a prepared and resilient nation.”

I’ll take a few questions at this time….

@rusnivek

Final day teaching ICS-300 at FEMA Region V

Final Day of ICS-300 as we roll along with resource management, prioritization, demobilization….

….and of course the new recovery support functions. All aimed to help communities recover from any disaster.

We are all working hard to enhance the preparedness level of many of our critical staff – building a culture of preparedness.

Reporting in from FEMA Region V…

@rusnivek

Day-2 of FEMA ICS-300 here at FEMA Region V in Chicago

More fun as we continue through day-2 of ICS-300 at FEMA Region V.

Today’s convo will be dominated by the Planning P and how integral the cycle is to our operational rhythm in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or the Joint Field Office (JFO).

Also a great time to talk about resources and the need for more as we progress along in the disaster. As you know, ordering stuff (single point vs multi point) isn’t easy, accounting for the resource, tasking the resource, and justifying the resource is harder than it looks due to the restrictions that inbound resources have. As always, great discussion today from all participants!

Throwing the shaka cause I know tomorrow is AlohaFriday!

Reporting live from FEMA Region V!

@rusnivek

FEMA + Region V + ICS-300 = Meeee!

Good morning FEMA Region V!

Time to get my ICS-300 on because I am teaching ICS-300 with one of my Plans Section Chiefs Mark Ballard!

This one is an all Federal class here as we serve our DHS partners and various other organizations in learning about the Incident Command.

You know what day it is. On Wednesdays, we wear pink.

Reporting live from the FEMA RV RRCC…

@rusnivek

Phil Politano 😢

Earlier this week on Thursday, I was informed of the passing of Phil Politano.

😢

Just like the PIO world, the news came with an embargo as I was told to hold on the distro of Phil’s passing until more details were released.

I was not ready to hear this.

Then FEMA EMI pushed the info out.

😞 😔 😢 I’ve known Phil for years. 😢

I cherish all my conversations with Phil, bending his ear on ideas, strategies, and how we can better serve our communities as leaders and still be innovative by stretching and setting the bar higher for others to achieve more.

Phil pushed me to do more.

I openly share info and talk about my duties as a PIO.

Again, Phil pushed me to do more.

I told my story about PIOs and how critical they are to the success of our mission in Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

Phil said you can empower more.

I increased my exposure and worked/traveled/trained more public safety PIOs across the country.

Phil smiled and said in his loud booming voice, “Well done man!”

Over the years, I have literally trained thousands of pros. There is no doubt in my mind, each one of them knows the importance of getting the right message, to the right, people, at the right time.

Phil’s oversight to my official FEMA PIO duties and actions helped make me a better PIO. He was always watching me.

Phil was always watching what I was doing.

Speaking of watching, I knew Phil was always watching me, this turned into a little game called the SURprise. Here’s one time I SURprised Phil at a secure USCG Base in California.

That was a good one.

Another time, I caught him delivering an exercise inject, eating a salad in the sim cell during a functional exercise.

A salad and Sur…who could ask for anything more!?!?!

<Sigh>

In 2018, Phil handed me my FEMA Master PIO certificate.

<sigh>

I was hoping to catch up to him at the end of the month at EMI. However, it seems that God needed a PIO and Phil got the ultimate deployment resource request.

Gonna miss his booming voice….

Gonna miss that side eye…

Gonna miss that PIO guidance…

I’ll just settle for that award winning PIO smile.

Trust me Phil, I’ll definitely take more notes.

Reporting with tears in my eyes…

@rusnivek

Final day of the FEMA Basic Academy Planning Emergency Operations course

Final day of the FEMA Emergency Management Basic Academy here DuPage County OHSEM. Lots of discussion about EOPs and #THIRA planning.

Enhancing the skills of our most trusted partners from Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois.

More group work as we address planning for our Whole Community response and recovery in this planning class.

Solid collaboration from all public safety representatives from local to Federal level.

Final group activity as we continue to enhance our Emergency Operations Plans.

Lots of discussion on sharing timely and critical information with access & functional needs populations.

Closing out this week’s packed FEMA Basic Academy on Aloha Friday.

Many thanks to local, county, state, and Federal officials/leaders attending representing FEMA Region 5 and FEMA Region 7.

@rusnivek

Day 1 of ICS-300 at DWFD

Midweek start to our FEMA IEMA DuPage Co OHSEM ICS-300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents at Darien Woodridge Fire Department Station 89!

And since it’s the holidays, I thought a little Mariah would be appropriate

🤣

Special thanks to Fire Chief Gorsky on the warm hospitality to all of our participants from across the country.

This week, I am fortunate to have Illinois EMA Region 7 Trainer Richard Williams along for the instructor ride.

Great to hear about his military experiences and how they used ICS. Additionally, lots of info to share on his assignment to the southern Illinois flooding this year.

And since I’m teaching with IEMA staff, I thought it would be appropriate to wear my Illinois socks.

Reporting live from Station 89…

@rusnivek

IPEM? Yep!

When I was deployed this summer with FEMA for the disaster response in Nebraska, I totally missed the State of Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) awarding me my official Illinois Professional Emergency Manager certification/designation.

Whohooooooooo – IPEM!

Special thanks to DHS/FEMA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for their support in this process.

Reporting live from Illinois…

@MEPIrusnivek 😆

Monday morning with FEMA HQ staff

Solid Monday morning here at FEMA HQ.

Catching up to a few friends in External Affairs because preparedness doesn’t stop! I knew Jana starting back in the day as we were (and still are) huge advocates for the Ready.Gov Program.

For more details behind the FEMA Ready.Gov program, check out www.ready.gov

And since we are talking about External Affairs, I got a chance to take a deep dive with FEMA External Affairs Director Jessica Nalepa.

Lots of discussion on the complexities of External Affairs and how our actions are so critical in a disaster and of course the public perception. Also lots of discussion on dedication to career and service.

Looking forward to having more discussion with her on how to improve our response and elevate External Affairs for FEMA and the nation.

Suit up because I’m reporting live from Washington DC….

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the new 2019 ICS-400 course!

Day-2 of the new 2019 ICS-400 course! This morning, we start out talking about the deadly 2005 Hurricane Katrina/Rita response with the US Coast Guard.

Facilitated discussion allows our participants to openly discuss perceived issues. Lots of response actions from all of our participants that can contribute to a successful response. Glad we had fruitful discussion prior to the actual disaster.

Our class also acknowledged the national Emergency Alert System Test today for TV and radio.

Everyone in class knew about it…aka prepared leadership and pros. Love it!

Midmorning and afternoon class-time was spent on the capstone activity with heavy discussion on the use of area command and how we allocate resources for multiple jurisdictions.

And you are right if you said that the rotor wing options are high on the list of valuable recourses.

Channeling my best FEMA EMI Bob Ridgeway, “…and don’t worry sports fans” moment, we included the infamous State of Columbia!

This fictions town is always a disaster.

Great to see so many partners discuss overarching goals including challenges with the big three public safety providers. Like pros, they included a large bite into health intelligence, DoD assets, and of course addressing various audiences like the tribal nations. Solid!

Proud to serve my fellow public safety pros from all professions this week in the ICS-400 course.

@rusnivek