Forming the proverbial PIO Voltron for today‚Äôs FEMA JIC/JIS course

And now starting the FEMA JIC/JIS Course with our class here at the Defiance County EMA Emergency Operations Center.

And yes, if you’ve been in a JIC/JIS class w/ me before, you know I talk about Voltron. In the FEMA Basic PIO Course, we teach you to be an individual PIO and function with limited options…however, the JIC/JIS course allows you to join forces with other PIOs and work the magic despite being from different backgrounds and different factions for the emergency or disaster. That’s right-we can all get along in the JIC.

Starting out the day with a cold reality check on expectations and capabilities as we assess our options and ready our agencies for disasters. It would be a good idea to have a clear understanding of the situation and build from there.

Additionally, we bring our all-hazards partners into the fold. Here’s Sister Michael Marie talking about the complexities of what appears as a simple emergency that could quite result in bringing soooooooooooooooooooooo many partners to respond to this typical emergency.

Drawing too simple for you?

You need more description?

NO SOUP FOR YOU!

The whole point of the exercise is to get your mind thinking about various options as well as partners to call early as likely, they have a dog in the fight to help any affected community recover from any disaster.

Look, it’s more than Fire, Police, and EMS – it’s the #WholeCommunity to build a culture of preparedness.

Proud of every single one of these participants as everyone walked away with a new understanding and respect for the PIO. While some have been on TV before w/ a few interviews, all of them realize the dangers of an unprepared interviewee.

Looking forward to working with all of you on the next big one. And just think…in the midst of a disaster, you just might see these two smiling faces.

Now, go forth and use your new PIO powers for good!

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer course here at Defiance County EMA

Day-2 of the FEMA OEMA Basic Public Information Officer course here at Defiance County EMA.

As we start to expand the roles of the PIO, we gotta talk about social media and the impact it has on our every day tasks representing our brand…aka our agency.

Like all info on social media, there’s a ton of things to cover and we won’t be able to talk about ALL platforms. But we can talk about the primary ones that make a difference for any public safety agency.

Also a good time to share one thoughts with you too:

“I don’t care how many followers you have, I care about how you engage all of the followers you do have.” – @rusnivek

Much like Shania Twain, the volume of followers don’t impress me much. What makes a really good social media-er, is how that agency engages with their followers they do have.

I often get asked about in class mock interviews. We still do them as they are incredibly important for participants in a safe learning environment.

But ask any of my participants. They will tell you that it’s pretty real.

Additionally, how I facilitate that part of class nurtures and allows for self-reflection amongst all participants. This ain’t my first rodeo. My peeps are good as we prep them for a really bad day.

Mock press conferences allow our participants to put together a few skills they learned just yesterday.

Just like real press conferences, mock reporters are able to ask questions and test some techniques on running a successful press conference.

The best part?

Participants worked it like pros and did an excellent job in running the pressers! NOOICE!!!!!

Great teamwork and collaboration with everyone here. Strong support network, solid coordination, and nice weather – always a winner!

Proud of the work from everyone in class today.

I’m totes looking forward to tomorrow’s course – FEMA JIC/JIS Course

@rusnivek

FEMA Basic PIO Course here at Defiance County EMA

It’s just another Manic Monday as we start another FEMA OEMA Basic PIO Course here at Defiance County Emergency Management Agency (Ohio). Cue the Guns n Roses intro music!

Not going to lie, all signs point to a large contingent from our law enforcement community here today.

Lots of new PIOs in the audience today as we try to share the good word from so many agencies. Almost every ESF is represented!

All-hazards coolio on Monday!

As an added instructor bonus, we get a chance to see what campaigns that Ohio EMA has worked for previous outreach activities in Ohio. Hi Nancy!!!!!

My lunch time views include a few red fire trucks.

Ahhhhh, I feel better now.

And in classic fashion, we are most definitely doing on-camera interviews.

While seemingly insignificant, this is the part of the class that participants find is the most valuable for their ongoing career.

Me? I’d rather you have that experience and training and never use it vs never having that training and then being thrown to the wolves in a crisis or emergency.

Train like you fight right?

Reporting live from the EOC as I ask those challenging media-esque questions…

@rusnivek

Social Media Engagement Strategies for the AZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ peeps!

Thirsty Thursdays are here and we’re popping another Social Media Engagement Strategies class here at Pima County EMA (Arizona).

And of course we gotta keep it real to the course creator – our good friend Cheryl Bledsoe!

For those that know the origins of this picture, know how important it is for us to keep it consistent.

As instructors, we often love to incorporate pop culture references into class. This class was no different.

Oh yeah! Luckily it isn’t Wednesday.

So great to see collaboration with the NPS Wildfire folks. Also great to see a fellow Type-1 PIOs in the audience too.

Great minds think alike as we continue to prepare and engage various audiences…including during non-fire season.

Not only are we prepping tweets and Facebook posts, we are also diving deep into strategy.

Plans are soooooo important esp when we focus in on social media. Yes, many PIOs are responsive, but we also need to be strategic about our operations. When participants walk away from this class, they have in hand, a starting point for social media strategy that includes their partner agencies.

Since we can’t just run and gun, we must not cross the streams.

Ray, just don’t look at the trap.

Outstanding discussion amongst all participants as we share success stories and challenges we face daily on social media.

More importantly, it’s good to see genuine smiles in class. Lotsa smiles.

Facilitating discussion helps enhance relationships with all providers in disaster response and recovery. Additionally, people can address gaps and maybe…MAYBE find an agency that can assist or mutual aid in to fill that shortfall.

Proud to bring this engaging class to our partners in Arizona!

@rusnivek

JIC/JIS Course here at DuPage County OHSEM

Outstanding day to start the FEMA G0291: JIC/JIS Course here at DuPage County OHSEM.

And a solid Miley way to start the day is a party in the USA!

Awwwwwww yeah.

As always, a fine safety brief from John on class including info on 24/7 PIO support from both of us.

With the upcoming exercises, we wanted to give the participants an opportunity to share their experiences as well as how much training has helped them increase their output and network with others.

In class activities concrete key points so that we can all function well with each other. In the end, we hope that nothing happens…but the reality is that it is only a matter of time before we have to work together.

Train like you fight right?

How is DuPage County OHSEM doing it? We are fostering a workspace for collaboration not only in this area, but statewide. Here’s an example.

As stated before, a rising tide raises all ships.

We will learn/train together and we will enjoy our successes together.

And when a crisis hits or a disaster just happens, it will no doubt be a challenging work environment. But thanks to training and exercises, we as PIOs will be able to function well together and shine.

Reminds me of a quote: “When it rains, we roar.” – PIO Ryan S.

Looking forward to seeing all of you at the next big one….in the JIC!

@rusnivek

 

Day-1 of ICS-300 at Elmhurst Hospital

Day-1 of our ICS-300 class at Elmhurst Hospital!

However, I am not sure about us teaching the childbirth part of the class.

I guess if you wanted to account for all resources, we would need a new T-card and check in process for the new kiddos. HA!

Great welcome message from the Elmhurst Fire Deputy Fire Chief and the Elmhurst EM Coordinator.

Great discussion from all agencies here including Fire, EMS, Police, Public Works, Hospital, EMS, Health Department, National Guard, and countless other agencies here.

Great partnerships from everyone as we discuss ongoing response and recovery efforts from various activities and incidents. Working together will increase our preparedness level and help our coordination esp when we spin up the county EOC.

Glad to see everyone here for class. And yes, don’t forget that #OnWednesdaysWeWearPink

Yeah yeah, suit up baby!

Reporting live from Elmhurst Hospital talking about NIMS and ICS~!

@rusnivek

 

Yassssss ~ proud of you!

I love getting messages like this.

Proud of your work and dedication to your community.

Welcome to the FEMA team!

Love to hear success stories from those who I’ve worked and trained.

These kinds of random notes highlight the importance of the work that I do in the preparedness and response directorate for local to Federal agencies.

Yep, without a doubt, I’m proud of every single one of you. All of you.

@rusnivek