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

L0105: Public Information and Warning

About to start the final day of the FEMA Basic Academy…aka L01015.

As always, a fine welcome from our Emergency Management Director Murray Snow.

Glad to have our staff support this event.

Also even more happy to have so many of our most trusted partners in the audience today as we continue to chat about Public Information and Warning.

Here’s Pete starting up the day.

Lots more as we continue on.

Sabit’s got some big plan for graduation.

Not going to lie….I kinda love it.

More deets on the graduation shortly.

@rusnivek

 

Day 3 of ICS-300

Starting out Day-3 of the ICS-300 class on Aloha Friday.

You can see my Aloha shirt peeking out on this cold 34 degree day in Alabama.

Glad to share the work of what our public safety forces do prior to a disaster declaration. In fact, lots needs to get done before a Federal Declaration. We talk about how locals need to work seamlessly with state agencies.

Then we talk about the importance of how states work with our regional partners.

Tailoring the convo to our FEMA employees attending helps them understand the seriousness of our work as incidents get bigger and inevitably into a type-1 disaster.

Making sure you specifically address your audience is critical at being a good instructor.

Tho, I don’t know who is Kevin Kur. Dang it. 😆

So for those that believe ICS classes are boring, I would contend that you don’t have the right instructor(s). Case in point, who gets cheers and applause at the end of an ICS-300?

Yep. Hello, I’m @rusnivek.

And of course the R9 PIO said we had to do a class Usie so…..

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Say Happy Aloha Friday!!!!! PC: BRT

Reporting live from the Center for Domestic Preparedness….

@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

 

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

Honoring the life of Phil Politano #TakeNotes #PolitanoStrong

My thoughts today is with my FEMA PIO colleagues in Emmitsburg, Maryland – honoring the life of my friend Phil Politano.

2018 FEMA Master Public Information Officer (MPIO) Cohort-1

2018 FEMA Master Public Information Officer (MPIO) Cohort-1

If you had any part in DHS/FEMA Public Information Officer Program anywhere in the country, you received Phil’s knowledge of External Affairs. That’s right, if you’ve attended courses like

  • G0289: PIO Awareness course
  • G0290: FEMA Basic PIO course
  • G0291: JIC/JIS course
  • E0388: Advanced PIO course
  • E0389: Master PIO Course

…you’ve been impacted by Phil’s noggin and course design.

Now previously, I’ve already talked about Phil’s knowledge and his legacy here. But it is worth noting that he was the one that handed me my FEMA Master PIO certificate.

I wish I was assigned there this week Phil.

Outstanding life Phil. No doubt, we will continue to carry your legacy on.

Phil-we will definitely #takenotes.

@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