Earlier this week on Thursday, I was informed of the passing of Phil Politano.
Just like the PIO world, the news came with an embargo as I was told to hold on the distro of Phil’s passing until more details were released.
I was not ready to hear this.
Then FEMA EMI pushed the info out.
😞 😔 😢 I’ve known Phil for years. 😢
I cherish all my conversations with Phil, bending his ear on ideas, strategies, and how we can better serve our communities as leaders and still be innovative by stretching and setting the bar higher for others to achieve more.
Phil pushed me to do more.
I openly share info and talk about my duties as a PIO.
Again, Phil pushed me to do more.
I told my story about PIOs and how critical they are to the success of our mission in Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.
Phil said you can empower more.
I increased my exposure and worked/traveled/trained more public safety PIOs across the country.
Phil smiled and said in his loud booming voice, “Well done man!”
Over the years, I have literally trained thousands of pros. There is no doubt in my mind, each one of them knows the importance of getting the right message, to the right, people, at the right time.
Phil’s oversight to my official FEMA PIO duties and actions helped make me a better PIO. He was always watching me.
Phil was always watching what I was doing.
Speaking of watching, I knew Phil was always watching me, this turned into a little game called the SURprise. Here’s one time I SURprised Phil at a secure USCG Base in California.
That was a good one.
Another time, I caught him delivering an exercise inject, eating a salad in the sim cell during a functional exercise.
A salad and Sur…who could ask for anything more!?!?!
In 2018, Phil handed me my FEMA Master PIO certificate.
I was hoping to catch up to him at the end of the month at EMI. However, it seems that God needed a PIO and Phil got the ultimate deployment resource request.
Gonna miss his booming voice….
Gonna miss that side eye…
Gonna miss that PIO guidance…
I’ll just settle for that award winning PIO smile.
Trust me Phil, I’ll definitely take more notes.
Reporting with tears in my eyes…