Day-2 of the FEMA Basic PIO Course here in KY

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer Course here.

Glad to finally meet Lexington Fire Capt Jessica Bowman who is also one of the FEMA Master PIOs.

Great day to share some of the tools we use as PIOs. Here’s Sherelle and John talking about the importance and fashionable safety vests are for officials onscene.

Additionally, we discussed media being well visible as their safety is incredibly important. We can’t have our friends in the news business get hurt or become part of the incident.

And trust me, the more people who get injured in an incident, the more paperwork we all have to fill out….so be safe!

As usual, we had a very seasoned media panel from WLEX18 Bill Wilcox and Herald Leader Peter Baniak. Many thanks to both news organizations to spend time out of their busy schedule to spend with PIOs from across the state.

With all Basic PIO classes, we talk about the ability and flexibility for PIOs to do field reporting. Often times, reporters can’t get to a scene because of traffic or lack of staffing. Either way, we as government PIOs can help them out by packaging information they need from the scene. The tools needed to produce this kind of info is fairly easy to get, however the challenge is to put them into play.

By sharing the tactics and tools in class, I am able to improve the skills of any PIO by enhancing their ability to share solid timely and TRUSTED information with any of the targeted audiences.

As PIOs, we are beholden to so many audiences.

  • Public
  • Media
  • Leadership
  • Our internal teams.

At times, our job seems easy however once you dive into it, you can see the complexities of our efforts.

Don’t worry, we reviewed all mock on camera interviews. Tackled key concepts like redirects as well as some tips on how to give more positive non-verbals while being interviewed during crisis.

Super fun day with everyone. Lots of contributions from our partners from Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, Energy, Coroner’s Office, Higher Education, Search and Rescue.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s FEMA JIC/JIS course!

Reporting live from the EOC….

@rusnviek

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

Day-2 of Ohio EMA Basic Public Information Officer Course in #SummitCounty

Second day of the State of Ohio Emergency Management Agency‘s Basic Public Information Officer’s Course in Summit County.

IMG_1643

Lots of discussion on the changes in public information especially with the use of social media in the 24-hour news cycle. #OMG

IMG_1654

We were fortunate enough to hear from WKYC Reporter Jasmine Monroe and Videographer Carl Bachtel (NBC News affiliate) on what the media needs once they arrive on scene. Great insight to breaking news and media notifications.

IMG_1658

Special thanks to WKYC’s Jasmine Monroe and Carl Bachtel.

As a class, we reviewed all media interviews and shared positives and points to improve – all geared toward enhancing PIO interview skills.

IMG_1659 - Copy

Reviewing the on camera interview with Twinsburg Lt. Marcus Ketner.

The final activity we broke into various PIO sections. This included an on-camera interview with talking points and bridging.

Interviews

Jim McIntyre interviewing Elizabeth Foster while Mark Shane handles the videographer duties in the final G0290 classroom activity.

Great way to showcase newly acquired skills!

IMG_1678

Jim McIntyre interviewing Elizabeth Foster for the final G0290 classroom activity

At the end of the day, I had a few moments to play our little holiday project aka #CJSavesCLE – just to showcase the power of when PIOs work with local media to make a wish come true for a day.

IMG_1666

#CJSavesCLE

Solid day with so many new peeps!

Tomorrow will be G-291 Joint Information Center stuff! #excited

@rusnivek

Friday talks with Ohio EMA leadership

It was great to spend some time with Ohio EMA leadership yesterday.

11873457_10153129364622756_1237696503287518723_n

Discussion on community resilience, task force deployments, Presidential Declarations, key initiatives, outreach, training, EMAC deployments, stakeholder engagement, public information officer, Emergency Management visibility, social media, Public Assistance, SBA loans, documentation and reimbursements, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Public and Private partnerships…heck-we even touched on the buzz words for 2015: Climate change and Cyber.

For sure, lots of notes!

It is so great to hear OEMA Executive Director Sima Merick passionate about all facets of Emergency Management.

IMG_7964

Also got a chance to hang with my Ohio EMA Training and Education peeps Lisa and Susan too. Solid discussion about the upcoming Mass Fatalities course (G-386), PIO Courses (G-290), JIC/JIS Courses (G-291), Intermediate Incident Command courses (ICS-300), and the Recovery from Disasters Course (G-270.4).

Lots of good free stuff upcoming from Ohio EMA!

BTW-If you did a double take on that first picture, yes sir Sur, #AlohaFridays are made for an Aloha shirt. Period. Also a historical note, Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959.

Don’t worry peeps, look closely as I had my Ohio pin on.

Have a great weekend!

@rusnivek

JIS – JIC planning class for Tribal State and local PIOs

A fine day to teach the Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s JIS / JIC Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs (G-291) course in Medina County!

1

A classic start with The Who.

One of the big points emphasized in this class is the differences between a Joint Information Center (JIC) and a Joint Information System (JIS). Both have merits in daily operations and each have strengths and weaknesses in disaster operations.

IMG_6533

Sometimes PIOs don’t understand that a JIC or JIS activation is just like a normal activation. If you can’t figure out the differences between the two, take the class from those who have actually worked a JIC or a JIS.

IMG_6546

On Tuesday/Wednesday in the Basic Public Information Officers’ Course (G-290), we talked about training and readiness efforts for any PIO. Go Kits were a hot button topic as everyone’s PIO kit would most likely be different. Resource manuals are great to have, but difficult to keep updated. Just maintaining a PIO contact list is a tedious task.

Much discussion about food in the kit. This was obviously NOT a good example of what you should be eating during an JIC activation.

2

Prob not the best lunch.

Healthy body = Healthy mind. Period.

As the day progressed, we facilitated several in-depth discussions on teamwork, joint efforts in responses as well as some pre-scripted messages that can be used by everyone. Planning now will reduce the amount of white hair during an incident.

Establish relationships now with local health departments, local and regional hospitals, local Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Teams, Special Technical Rescue Teams. Easily rely on your state staff and resources to support your actions. A great wealth of information is available to bring to the table. Just establish that connection before that awkward 0300 hit.

Additionally, tapping into local resources from other Federal Agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives(ATF), National Weather Service (NWS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs Border Patrol (CBP), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), etc…so many options to establish relationships!

3

“Building relationships now can only increase our response effectiveness during a disaster.” – K. Sur

Looking outside government agencies, public and private partnerships can support our safety and response initiatives – so we need to make a concerted effort to make those connections now. Build relationships before a disaster!

4

Sur and Mo!

So how can you bring all these resources together? Consider these actions to explore in your jurisdiction:

  • Train. Train. Train.
  • Open discussions with various providers.
  • Invite your all-hazards partners to meetings.
  • Meet regularly. Maintain contact.
  • Take classes together.
  • Share resource lists and contacts.
  • Support each other during operations.
  • Review After Action Reviews / Improvement Plans (AARs/IPs) together.

5

And if you were wondering, class participants did well on their post-tests.

6

Psssst…the answer is “C” #not

We had a great time teaching this week. Much thanks to the Medina County Emergency Management Agency and EM Director Christine Fozio for their hospitality. Super fun time.

7

So much ducking fun (duck face reference)

Special thanks to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency for sponsoring this all-hazards class for our partners in public safety.

8

(L to R): PIO Instructor Kevin Sur, Medina County Emergency Management Director Christine Fozio, and PIO Instructor Monique Witherspoon.

If you are looking to attend OEMA’s free PIO courses:

  • Public Information Officers Awareness course (G-289)
  • Basic Public Information Officers’ course (G-290)
  • JIS / JIC Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs course (G-291)

**coordinate through OEMA State Training Officer Susan Traylor.

SurPaperTowels

As always, I’m looking forward to the JIC / JIS activation calls. I am excited for these new PIOs to put their new acquired PIO skillz in place. And yes, I said skillz with a Z.

Time is short so do good stuff!

@rusnivek

September assignments to R5 & R3 – Also #NatlPrep #Prepared2014

After hopping around Region V in August, I’ll be able to stretch out a bit and swing east into Region-3. The September intel training class in DC will be rescheduled and (hoping that it’ll) get moved to the Pentagon.

At this time, it is Pennsylvania, Maryland, and back in Ohio for September.

20140501-083012.jpg

The outlook for October has a wider spread as I have been assigned to Region-V, Region-IV, and Region-III.

Keep smiling because it’s 2014 National Preparedness Month! (MY FAVORITE MONTH)

@rusnivek