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

FSC SUR? WTH?!?

There are days when you are comfortable in your space.

There are days when you feel uncomfortable in your space.

Then there are the days that you feel completely out of place and are trying like hell to survive. This moment was one of them.


That time I was put into a FSC role. Yep, I said I was assigned as the Finance Section Chief. Holy Mary Mother of God! As you guessed, I do not typically serve as the FSC so this was definitely out of my comfort zone. However, I was told that I needed to diversify my roles and try something new. Clearly, sink-or-swim time.

From the evaluators, I did an excellent job and navigated my section through several tough challenges. I am proud of my crew who filled their F/A roles extremely well. Hell yeah!

Special thanks to TEEX for an excellent course everyone should be required to attend.

What did I learn? Make sure you take the time to look inwards and see where growth is needed. Comfortable is easy. Challenging situations allow leaders to shine.

Be a leader.

@rusnivek

Ice and Water Rescue in NW Ohio – All-Hazards Full Scale Exercise

Spending a bunch of time in NW Ohio with several emergency services agencies focused in on Water/Ice Rescue.

IMG_5579

Did some GPS coordinate work, observation and recon work, and of course some grid search pattern work.

IMG_5570

A few of my peeps testing their newly acquired National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System (ICS) concepts.

IMG_5576

Had a chance to interact with a few of the NW Ohio water rescue resources as well as a few aeromedical agencies too.

IMG_5603

I’m glad to see so many willing all-hazards participants involved in this exercise.

IMG_5581

Also glad to see local and regional law enforcement participation in the day’s events too.

IMG_5567

Despite relatively colder temps, all crews managed to say jovial and warm.

IMG_5557 - Copy

Thanks again to my cadre of ICS Subject Matter Experts in Operations, Logistics, Public Information, Communications, and Air Operations who assisted today with evaluation.

@rusnivek

“And so my fellow Americans… #JFK

Little known fact about me: On every trip I make to DC, I always pay my respects at Arlington to a great leader.

Let JFK’s full quote inspire you to serve this great country…as well as this world.

“And so my fellow Americans…” JFK 1961

AskNotWhat

@rusnivek