Another FEMA PIO Awareness course in Lake County Illinois

Another fine start to the FEMA PIO Awareness course here at Mundelein Fire Station 1!

Special thanks to DC Brents and the whole crew!

Lots to talk about as we intro the magic of public information to a new class. Of course we had a few words of wisdom from PIO John Nebl.

Great perspective and stories from Schaumburg Police.

If you were wondering, we are in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)…so that’s a good thing.

Making your peeps train in the location that they would likely be activated to…is a solid practice.

With a diverse class, we are able to cover lots of topics and various situations. The all-hazards nature of this FEMA class allows us to better prepare our PIOs for any emergency.

Additionally, I love to share my experiences from large events and disasters with fellow colleagues from across the State of Illinois.

Training together better prepares us to coordinate and work together before, during, and after an emergency. That’s right, come on in and form Voltron.

Special thanks to all the staff from Mundelein Fire for the warm hospitality to our staff from the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Train like you fight!

@rusnivek

Downburst with Thunderstorm at the EOC

Sometimes Mother Nature just wants to remind you of her power. Work this morning was a bit different as we saw the true power of how powerful a simple downburst can be.

As you can see, these gigantic trees were no match for the winds in excess of 50mph.

Like a pair of sticks, this thicc tree was split at the base, the thickest strongest point.

Dayum.

To give you some perspective of the size, take a look at this picture. See that Chief wearing the white shirt behind the tree? Yeah, that’s a big tree.

Keep in mind, there are two gigantic trees that instantly fell within seconds.

As you can see, our top notch ESF-03: Public Works pros are already at it with their chainsaw gang clearing priority paths for critical access.

For more detailed information on this downburst with severe thunderstorms, here’s the direct link to NWS-Chicago’s report: https://www.weather.gov/lot/2019Jul02_Severe

Stay safe and heed all the warnings of local public safety agencies.

@rusnivek

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

Crisis Comms meetings at ARC Chicago

Afternoon meetings with the Communications team with the Red Cross of Chicago!

Case studies? Social media? Response training? Media training? Yeppers, all of that stuff for for the L-team to boots-on-the-ground staff.

Looking forward to some upcoming Crisis Comms training with all their staff.

@rusnivek

ICS for Executives/Senior Officials

What a morning as we kick off the FEMA ICS-402: ICS for Executives/Senior Officials!

Even got a rare class visit from Director Snow on the start today.

 

Suit up as we continue to explain the need for ICS and share the values a coordinated response. And yes, if you are going to ask, I once created an IAP thiiiiiiis big…  

Proud to have leadership from various organizations including our own DuPage County Board Members Dawn DeSart and Sheila Rutledge.

Great class and looking forward to more with our partners.

@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