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

 

Site visit ending up at AFD Station-8

Is it kinda like the elephant march when we line up ambulances outside?

Overcast dreary morning as we continue to support our public safety pros in the field 24/7. No rest for the weary!

But after Chicago, I was able to switch out to Aurora Station-8 as we discuss some ongoing issues and see how we can creatively explore more training/exercises to increase partnerships/coordination.

Lots of discussion on our ongoing FEMA Emergency Management Basic Academy as we continue to share the good that the DuPage County OHSEM does for all  partners.

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand that Emergency Management is a different field than 30 years in the fire service or 30 years at the police department or 30 years working at an EMS service. Definitely not the same.

So in that same vein, we need to tailor our classes and exercises to address the all-hazards approach and address all partners.

We are fortunate that our classes are geared to hit all 15 Federal Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) in accordance with national plans. Our guidance is clear as we align with national doctrine, state grants/guidance, and local response plans to coordinate and execute any needed response plans.

The crux is that Emergency Management in the EOC will be the coordinating entity during any emergency or disaster. Period.

In order for locals to execute, State to manage, and Federal to assist and support, we need to have a firm understanding of what happens every step of the way. I am proud of my staff for taking the time to see these things through and explore options for our public safety pros.

No doubt, these are the kinds of things that make our EM stronger and solid at supporting our peeps 24/7/365. We in Emergency Management must continue to build a rock solid collaborative effort with our key players so that when we need to exercise or execute, we can do it seamlessly.

Special thanks to the men and women at the Aurora Fire Station 8 for their warm hospitality. Looking forward to seeing all of you in class and future exercises.

Reporting live from the bay floors between Truck-6 and Engine-99…I mean Engine-8…

@rusnivek

Breaking news from the official State of Columbia PIO… #APIO

Wait a second…WAIT A SECOND!!!!

img_6609

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?!?

img_6608

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

FEMA OEMA Basic PIO Day-2 in Lake County’s EOC

Day-2 of the FEMA OEMA Basic Public Information Officer courses. Back at it for the morning sunshine in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) here in Lake County.

Loving how they still have the nod to the older Civil Defense logos here.  

Steve opted for a faster pace today so he blew through Palumbo Plastics scenario.

After walking through a few tabletop exercises, we shifted into the classroom review of all PIO on-camera interviews. Legit on camera interviews.

The realistic scenario has been shared hundreds if not thousands of times. All of which point to crisis comms, PIOs sharing (or not sharing) information and how they can improve their on camera presence to their audiences through spoken word and non-verbal cues. Pretty much the hallmark of any PIO on camera.

In the mix, Steve shared his EMAC deployment w/ to South Carolina for Hurricane Florence.

Another outstanding day in Lake County as our participants are fully engaged in another class. Looking forward tomorrow with great engagement for the JIC/JIS class.

@rusnivek

Day-1 of the FEMA OEMA Basic PIO Course

Day-1 of the FEMA OEMA Basic Public Information Officer course here at Lake County EMA!

With a welcome from Joe and the gang here in Lake County.

For those wondering, how close are we to the nuclear EPZ?

Yeah, real close.

So let’s hit this PIO stuff!

Like all PIO classes, we hit the basics of being a PIO as well as what one can do with a few others tips as the emergency situation gets more complex.

And since we love the real-time training, we pull all participants into the mock interviews.

Awwww yeah, no hiding in our class.

Outstanding first day with all participants from across the state from various public safety agencies including Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, Amateur radio, and other government services.

@rusnivek

Final day teaching ICS-300 at FEMA Region V

Final Day of ICS-300 as we roll along with resource management, prioritization, demobilization….

….and of course the new recovery support functions. All aimed to help communities recover from any disaster.

We are all working hard to enhance the preparedness level of many of our critical staff – building a culture of preparedness.

Reporting in from FEMA Region V…

@rusnivek