FEMA Basic Academy graduation – first one in Illinois

The time has come to welcome all of our graduates of the FEMA Basic Academy here at DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management!

“This is the first FEMA Basic Academy offered here in Illinois and we are proud to bring this Emergency Management foundation education here to DuPage County.” said Academy Instructor Kevin Sur. “The skills learned during this intensive course from November through March builds the framework for all Emergency Managers combining knowledge of all fundamental systems, concepts, and practices of leading actions for future leaders.”

The course started in November 2019 where participants were exposed to all mission areas including a myriad of case studies that highlighted the importance of collaboration and coordination in the response and recovery phase of any disaster or emergency.

In January 2020, participants took a deep dive into the science of disasters as well as planning to better help and understand the threats and dangers to each of their own communities.

To understand our hazards, we must understand legit science so that we can use the right resources to solve the problem.

The last week in March 2020, the class focused on the hot button topic of Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program and the Public Information and Warning course. Special thanks to new FEMA MEPP DuPage County OHSEM Sup Corey Mulryan for teaching with me on this one.

Participants debated the use of mass notification systems, social media in targeting specific audiences, and the value of the Public Information Officer (PIO) who’s role is so vital to the success of the agency.

Proud to be a part of the Instructional delivery team to get this first class here at DuPage County OHSEM.

Who’s who in the zoo? Well, we had participants from 6 different states, 3 different FEMA Regions with a diverse crowd from local, county, state, and Federal partners.

OUTSTANDING!!!!!

As we rolled into the graduation, I was able to make some opening remarks and thanking our most esteemed guests in the room.

Glad to hear from the new FEMA Region V Deputy Regional Administrator Kevin Sligh.

Deputy RA Sligh is a graduate of the program and is proud to see this foundational course being used as the marker of success for local Emergency Managers.

We also got a chance to hear from FEMA Region 5 Training & Exercise Manager Jessica Mitchell on the value of training. She is a proud resident of DuPage County.

And finally, to close things out, ladies and gents….put your hands together for Former IEMA Director and former Director of DuPage OHSEM….FEMA Region V Regional Administrator James Joseph!!!!

@rusnivek = #HypeMan

Great to hear his words of wisdom as his start here at DuPage and move on up has been solid.

Oh yeah…..social media. Yeah, I haven’t been posting a ton of stuff. Been concentrating on instruction and delivering the best class stuff.

Buttttttttttttttttttttttttt since I am one of the few FEMA Master PIOs, I figured it was only appropriate that I take a class selfie right?

#engagement #selfie

But seriously, I’m super proud of all the work that everyone contributed in class.

Lots of love for all of them.

More importantly, I know who I can count on during an activation/disaster.

Rusnivek’s 2020 Objective-1: Instructor certified FEMA Basic Academy – completed.

From the bottom of my heart, mahalos to my colleagues for the support throughout the academy.

Reporting live with a huge smile on my face…..

@rusnivek

A more resilient nation – thanks Dan!

Thank you to FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Dan Kaniewski.

Your national efforts to push long-term planning for resilient communities will have long lasting effects for Emergency Managers as we all strive to better prepare our communities for any emergency or disaster.

Best of luck on your new adventure in the private sector.

@rusnivek

 

Quick chat with FEMA Deputy Administrator Dan Kaniewski

I was fortunate this week to sit down this week with FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Dan Kaniewski at FEMA HQ.

Dan’s efforts across the country has helped pushed the importance of preparedness and strength for any community. With regular talks on flood insurance and hazard mitigation, his ability to bring pre-disaster planning to the forefront has been solid as we continue to help many communities better prepare for any disaster or emergency.

Dan’s hard fought efforts is not only with government agencies, but various partners in the public and private sector too. The importance of their efforts will only help better their community when disaster strikes.

Glad to see our top brass pushing for more preparedness every single day too.

Reporting live from FEMA HQ…Happy Aloha Friday peeps!

@rusnivek

Day-1 of the Advanced PIO class at FEMA’s EMI! #MPIO

Starting out the Advanced PIO class week with the big cheese – a warm EMI welcome from the new FEMA EMI Deputy Superintendent Steve Heidecker!

My buddy!

Phil laying down the usual ground rules like…

  • Don’t look for Camp David.
  • Don’t open windows.
  • Don’t touch helos.
  • Don’t break anything.

And yes, today, I was fortunate enough to introduce my favorite Indianapolis Fire Department Batt Chief/PIO Extraordinaire….Ladies and Gents….put your hands together for BC Rita Reith!!!!!

Glad to see so many of my former students come here to FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute for more training. And they get to hear my same PIO instructor jokes again.

PC: Cody McDonell

PC: Cody McDonell

And great to meet so many of online peeps for the very first time aka #IRL. Yes of course there will be lots of tweeting and #hastagging going on this week.

You in my class? Holla yo!

Reporting live from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute’s Advanced Public Information Officers class…

@rusnivek

 

Day-1 Ohio EMA Emergency Planning

Welcome to another solid start of Ohio EMA’s G-235: Emergency Planning course!

Thank you to Ashtabula County EMA for hosting this class for participants from three different FEMA regions. Here’s Ashtabula County EMA Deputy Director Tim Settles welcoming message to all our participants.

I immediately started involving them on identifying solid planning system characteristics.

Great discussion among Fire representatives, Emergency Management, and Red Cross professionals.

Additionally, CERT and HAM radio operators’ involvement was critical in plan writing as they will be testing/using those annexes.

Team leads from the Ohio National Guard / 52nd Civil Support Unit attended and worked closely with leadership from local/county EMAs.

Outstanding first day of class!

@rusnivek

Even more South Dakota Alohas!

Did someone say more cowbell? How about even more Aloha in South Dakota!


Not to be outdone, today’s class had to show more Aloha than the previous class.


What do you think?

IMHO, I think there is a ton more Aloha in South Dakota this week.

Mahalos to the Pennington County Emergency Management Agency Director Willett and Deputy Director White for hosting. Looking forward to the next class!

@rusnivek