Site visit ending up at AFD Station-8

Is it kinda like the elephant march when we line up ambulances outside?

Overcast dreary morning as we continue to support our public safety pros in the field 24/7. No rest for the weary!

But after Chicago, I was able to switch out to Aurora Station-8 as we discuss some ongoing issues and see how we can creatively explore more training/exercises to increase partnerships/coordination.

Lots of discussion on our ongoing FEMA Emergency Management Basic Academy as we continue to share the good that the DuPage County OHSEM does for all  partners.

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand that Emergency Management is a different field than 30 years in the fire service or 30 years at the police department or 30 years working at an EMS service. Definitely not the same.

So in that same vein, we need to tailor our classes and exercises to address the all-hazards approach and address all partners.

We are fortunate that our classes are geared to hit all 15 Federal Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) in accordance with national plans. Our guidance is clear as we align with national doctrine, state grants/guidance, and local response plans to coordinate and execute any needed response plans.

The crux is that Emergency Management in the EOC will be the coordinating entity during any emergency or disaster. Period.

In order for locals to execute, State to manage, and Federal to assist and support, we need to have a firm understanding of what happens every step of the way. I am proud of my staff for taking the time to see these things through and explore options for our public safety pros.

No doubt, these are the kinds of things that make our EM stronger and solid at supporting our peeps 24/7/365. We in Emergency Management must continue to build a rock solid collaborative effort with our key players so that when we need to exercise or execute, we can do it seamlessly.

Special thanks to the men and women at the Aurora Fire Station 8 for their warm hospitality. Looking forward to seeing all of you in class and future exercises.

Reporting live from the bay floors between Truck-6 and Engine-99…I mean Engine-8…

@rusnivek

FEMA OEMA JIC/JIS Course today

Starting out the day with the FEMA OEMA G0291: JIC/JIS course.

So glad to see Father Fire….I mean Chief Warner….I mean Captain Warner here at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

While wearing a different hat, we can confidently say that no matter what uniform we wear, our efforts to protect our community goes beyond just the normal 8-5 job. It truly is a calling for public safety pros to serve their community.

While in module-3, we had a reporter from Cleveland-19 Action News WOIO show up here to do an interview with one of our participants in the class – the Lake County (Ohio) Sheriff Frank Leonbruno.

Solid, poised…

…and deliberate words for the current situation. Well done Sheriff!

<Must have had good PIO instructors huh?>

Fortunately, Cleveland 19 News Reporter Kendall Forward and Videographer Marty DeChant had a few minutes to spare as they were kind enough to share their thoughts on PIO interactions with public safety PIOs.

(L to R): Kendall Forward, Steve Bosso, Kevin Sur, and Marty DeChant

(L to R): Kendall Forward, Steve Bosso, Kevin Sur, and Marty DeChant

And since I had them with us, I had to ask my favorite question: On the record? Is that really true?

The afternoon provided us the opportunity to bring everyone together in the JIC scenario and collaboration with all attendees. This class addresses various participants but making it all work is the hallmark of Phil Politano’s vision – all culminating in the joint press conference.

Shout out to all participants in this week’s class. Proud of the work you’ve done as well as the contributions to your community.

Welcome to the world of PIO!

 

More importantly, I am glad to see so many familiar faces this week.Seeing all of you leading your respective departments is inspiring as I truly can say “I knew you when…”

Go forth and Tweet good stuff!

@rusnivek

 

 

It’s all smiles in day-2 of ICS-300 at DWFD

Starting off our day-2 of ICS-300 here at DWFD with Jake and Elwood!

You know those two jokers executed their plans…to get the band back together.

This morning, we are joined by another representative from Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Region 4 Trainer Wendell Brewer!

Hope to lean on his recent expertise as a MEPP throughout the day.

Additionally, I got several inquiries on training that pertains to timely and proximity to the holidays (specifically any classes in December).

Look, it’s only December 6th. You need to calm down. You’re being too loud.

In short, disasters don’t take holidays or extended vacations. And neither do we. I am proud to see so many public safety partners attending our class from across the country.

Today, we hit the Planning P in full force as we brief our partners with the deets on the tactics meeting. We also dive deep on how important the ICS forms are (esp the 215 and 215A) for all tacticians and deployed personnel. I believe these two forms are critical to every single Incident Action Plans (IAP).

And for those that took ICS courses and thought they were boring and a waste of time or had poor instruction….that’s your fault.

Here’s proof that ICS participants, if provided solid instruction, can enjoy training and smile throughout class. I would say that the smiles probably help nurture transparent and dynamic conversation in class to solve legit problems that face any government agency. Sooooooo critical for any agency leader.

So go ahead and continue to complain about your experiences. Perhaps you just haven’t found an agency that provides solid instructors with real-world experiences that nurtures coordination and collaboration.

And as a true marker that I believe what we teach is impactful in all of our communities, I submit my sock choice for today. If we as leaders of our organization do not plan accordingly, we will likely become extinct.

Rawr.

Reporting live from the front of the class…

@rusnivek

2019 National Preparedness Symposium Day-2

An incredible Wednesday as we continue our efforts to collaborate here at the 2019 National Preparedness Symposium.

I chatted with Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor on the importance of continuing to build a culture of preparedness and how it is so critical to our audiences.

Super nice guy.

He then popped the morning plenary session to the entire conference and FEMA employees. Huge discussion on our strategic plan and then a few things in his role as a state director he wished he had when he started at FEMA.

Solid insight from the top at FEMA. Nice guy.

Lots of afternoon sessions including one with the National Disaster Preparedness Consortium (NDPC).

Great discussion amongst participants including

  1. Policy/procedure on admittance into courses
  2. Frank discussion on prerequisites for admittance into class
  3. Ongoing class challenges including rostering.

After the NDPC panel discussion was over, I quickly moved a few rooms over to check out a worthwhile discussion on the I–35 bridge and failing infrastructure. Also had some discussion about structural assessments.

Glad to be having ongoing discussions to maintain our critical access points in many cities across the US.

Then it was time to present my course: Social Media in Emergency Management. Woohoo!!!!

Glad to be sharing the knowledge with providers from across the country.

Engaged audience including a few questions on engagement as well as OSINT gathering and augmented reality. Great to peek the interest and maybe MAYBE be that catalyst for change with our industry.

Shout out to Bronlea the n00b as this was her first trip to the Center for Domestic Preparedness!

Looking forward to tomorrow’s FIT class with FEMA Director John Allen.

Reporting live with all the HQ peeps hanging in FEMA Region 4…

@rusnivek

Fun stuff on the final day of ICS-300!

Day-3 final day of ICS-300 starting out with another in class exercise!

It is imperative that we push all agencies to think outside of their normal comfort zone and look to alternate resources and like-minded professionals.

Not only other pros, but also standardizing the response so that everyone is on the same page, using the same terminology, same forms, and same plans and objectives.

Your agency’s mission is very important.

Your organizational goals are super important too.

But those SMART Objectives are SOOOO critical to everyone onscene as well as future operational periods.

And yes, the same truths still apply: coffee and collaboration are totes critical when a disaster first strikes.

But it also takes a consummate professional to continue the work after the response phase…but into recovery and mitigation. Thus ensuring your community some protection as we are always in a state of preparedness.

Our class also had lots of discussion on this slide as we view credentialing as a preparedness activity as we look to standardization and qualifications.

Great week and proud of the work from all participants in this class.

Looking forward to seeing all of you on the next big one.

@rusnivek

Day-2 of ICS-300 w/ our DoD assets and public safety professionals

Day-2 of ICS-300 started off with some class discussion on other classes that newer Emergency Management Professionals could attend to help broaden the expertise.

As we roll into module-4, we have lots of in class exercises to help participants understand the importance of coordination in response.

Proud to see so many here from various disciplines as well as a few familiar faces in the crowd too.

And again, if you look closely, you can see participants smiling…IN MY ICS-300 CLASS!!!!!

Lotsa smiles!!!!

Again, great to see solid collaboration here in class. Sooooooo many great ideas exchanged in the room. Even more proud to see it done BEFORE an emergency or disaster.

Also, one day, someone will recognize my hand puppet skills.

Kidding.

Day-2 dunzo. Great participation from everyone in the class!

@rusnivek

Day-1 ICS-300 with strong DoD participation

It’s Monday morning so lets kick off another hard core ICS-300 course…in the Poinsettia Room! 🌺

Also known as the city’s Emergency Operations Center too.

Diverse groups today with a strong showing from our Department of Defense and local public safety professionals.

This kind of joint training provides us the opportunities to build stronger partnerships and even strengthen the preexisting bonds with DoD assets including a few special teams.

Lots of group work as participants figure out priorities and challenges during the first few hours and into the first/second operational period.

But working through the issues in a calm classroom will help reduce the amount of stress during an actual emergency. Finding out strengths and gaps and addressing them so that everyone can respond better to any incident. That’s right enhancing response capabilities.

Sound familiar? That’s what HSPD-5 (Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5) is all about. A coordinated response! <heavy breathing>

That is exactly what Emergency Management is all about – build relationships for a coordinated response. <heavier breathing>

And also proof, if you teach it right, you can get people to smile in my ICS classes.

Awww yeah!

Great work from all participants – lotsa participation from everyone!

Glad to see so much collaboration from local, county, state, Federal, and DoD assets.

And as always, thank you for your service to our great country.

Happy birthday Marty. It’s a great first day.

Looking forward to the next two days!

@rusnivek