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.


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


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.


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.

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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.


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!


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.



Solid day with so many new peeps!

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


Teaching the brand new DHS/FEMA Basic Public Information Officer Course

Awwww yeah! This past week, I got a chance to teach part of the brand new DHS/FEMA G0290: Basic Public Information Officer Course!


Formerly known as G-290 course, this is the new FEMA Basic Public Information Officer course taught across the country for all public safety and emergency management professionals.

Thanks again to the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency and KESC for allowing me the opportunity. Also, special thanks to the ever fashionable Mike from NIOA.


Shakas because we are reporting live from Kentucky…


Press credentials discussed

We talked a little about press credentials last week in our Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) Basic Public Information Officer (PIO) class. Here’s an example of Chicago’s press creds.


(Some of you may remember Erin Kennedy from WKYC 3 here in Cleveland).

PIO Pro Tip: Build trusted relationships w/ the media prior to an incident.



Final day of instructing Ohio EMA’s Basic Public Information Officers Course

Final day of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s Basic Public Information Officer Course (G-290). Kaboom!

Before class started, we pumped a little Billy Joel through the ECC&C speakers.


We talked about what kind of information needs to be disseminated including categorizing messages by priority. Obviously, we discussed various social media platforms and a few publishing options to maximize visibility.


Basically, it still comes down to maximizing our efforts during a disaster or emergency.

Working in groups, all participants formulated action items to implement at their agencies. Incidentally, this is truly the reason why so many ICS classes exercise in groups…is to help facilitate open dialogue. Building relationships is easier in an open classroom setting.

And yes, 0300 is NOT the time to be meeting fellow public safety professionals for the first time in the EOC.

As a group, we evaluated everyone’s TV PIO interview.


Everyone shared constructive recommendations with the entire class. Everyone.


In fact, the private industry crew really enjoyed the training and wanted to work/train more closely with various public safety agencies (Hmmmm, I sense this could be the start of a public-private-partnerships-EEEK).

In the end, more group work and a secondary interview helped participants to become more comfortable in front of the camera.

Additionally, non-verbal actions including certain physical cues were shared to help PIOs take back control from an aggressive reporter and take control of the interview.


Remember, the important point to remember is….


Reporting live from FEMA Region-5, at the Medina County Emergency Coordination Center & Classroom…



Teaching Ohio EMA’s Basic Public Information Officers Course

First day of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s Public Information Officer Course (G-290). Whohoo!!!!

Welcome and intros today by OEMA NE Region Supervisor Bob Zehentbauer.

Bob Z kicking off today's Ohio EMA Basic PIO course.

Bob Z kicking off today’s Ohio EMA Basic PIO course.

(Bob-Mahalos for the kind words)

Special thanks to Medina County Emergency Management Agency and Director Christina Fozio for hosting this great all-hazards class.

Medina County EMA Director Christine Fozio with the best hospitality in the EOC!

Medina County EMA Director Christine Fozio with the best hospitality in the EOC!

This class, our participants hail from various disciplines including Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, Hospitals, Prison officials, Private Industry, Health Department, and Higher Education.

So many experiences to share especially with all the EOC activations we had in the past 5 years here in NE Ohio. Castro case, Ebola, Pepper Pike Tornado, Flooding, Operations Barclay, Hurricane Sandy, etc…all are great experiences that we as instructors can share our experiences with our participants.

I believe the best part about the G-290 course? The on-camera interviews for everyone.

One camera for face, one camera for body language, and a tricky "reporter" asking questions.

One camera for face, one camera for body language, and a tricky “reporter” asking questions.

Many instructors shy away from this task because they don’t have the time, experience, or even the equipment. However, I believe that it is imperative we have these tools that simulate real-life situations. We as instructors should provide the most realistic examples of in-field experiences for all participants.


For those attending, we will never compromise. We will always provide the best class.



Busy December for 5 and 3 and 9 but no on 10

After a busy November, let’s continue the push hard into December please!

This Wednesday, I’ll be headed to Michigan to teach with FEMA Region-5 on continuity.

Upon the return to Ohio, I’ll make the quick turnaround and head down to southern Ohio/West Virginia to teach ICS-300. A double serving of Region-5 and Region-3.

Then head to Fulton County, Ohio (Toledo area) to teach a Basic PIO course with my favorite PIOs in the biz. Back in Region-5 baby!


The Oregon trip was canceled so No Region-10 for me. Boooooooooooooooo. But ongoing through December, I have two priority special projects for R9 and R5 that need to close too. So no futzing around!

December summary: Yes on 5, 3, and 9…but no on 10.

I’m just hoping to spend some family time sometime. Happy holidays everyone!