Honoring the life of Phil Politano #TakeNotes #PolitanoStrong

My thoughts today is with my FEMA PIO colleagues in Emmitsburg, Maryland – honoring the life of my friend Phil Politano.

2018 FEMA Master Public Information Officer (MPIO) Cohort-1

2018 FEMA Master Public Information Officer (MPIO) Cohort-1

If you had any part in DHS/FEMA Public Information Officer Program anywhere in the country, you received Phil’s knowledge of External Affairs. That’s right, if you’ve attended courses like

  • G0289: PIO Awareness course
  • G0290: FEMA Basic PIO course
  • G0291: JIC/JIS course
  • E0388: Advanced PIO course
  • E0389: Master PIO Course

…you’ve been impacted by Phil’s noggin and course design.

Now previously, I’ve already talked about Phil’s knowledge and his legacy here. But it is worth noting that he was the one that handed me my FEMA Master PIO certificate.

I wish I was assigned there this week Phil.

Outstanding life Phil. No doubt, we will continue to carry your legacy on.

Phil-we will definitely #takenotes.

@rusnivek

FEMA OEMA JIC/JIS Course today

Starting out the day with the FEMA OEMA G0291: JIC/JIS course.

So glad to see Father Fire….I mean Chief Warner….I mean Captain Warner here at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

While wearing a different hat, we can confidently say that no matter what uniform we wear, our efforts to protect our community goes beyond just the normal 8-5 job. It truly is a calling for public safety pros to serve their community.

While in module-3, we had a reporter from Cleveland-19 Action News WOIO show up here to do an interview with one of our participants in the class – the Lake County (Ohio) Sheriff Frank Leonbruno.

Solid, poised…

…and deliberate words for the current situation. Well done Sheriff!

<Must have had good PIO instructors huh?>

Fortunately, Cleveland 19 News Reporter Kendall Forward and Videographer Marty DeChant had a few minutes to spare as they were kind enough to share their thoughts on PIO interactions with public safety PIOs.

(L to R): Kendall Forward, Steve Bosso, Kevin Sur, and Marty DeChant

(L to R): Kendall Forward, Steve Bosso, Kevin Sur, and Marty DeChant

And since I had them with us, I had to ask my favorite question: On the record? Is that really true?

The afternoon provided us the opportunity to bring everyone together in the JIC scenario and collaboration with all attendees. This class addresses various participants but making it all work is the hallmark of Phil Politano’s vision – all culminating in the joint press conference.

Shout out to all participants in this week’s class. Proud of the work you’ve done as well as the contributions to your community.

Welcome to the world of PIO!

 

More importantly, I am glad to see so many familiar faces this week.Seeing all of you leading your respective departments is inspiring as I truly can say “I knew you when…”

Go forth and Tweet good stuff!

@rusnivek

 

 

Phil Politano 😢

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!?!?!

<Sigh>

In 2018, Phil handed me my FEMA Master PIO certificate.

<sigh>

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…

@rusnivek

Day-1 of the Advanced PIO class at FEMA’s EMI! #MPIO

Starting out the Advanced PIO class week with the big cheese – a warm EMI welcome from the new FEMA EMI Deputy Superintendent Steve Heidecker!

My buddy!

Phil laying down the usual ground rules like…

  • Don’t look for Camp David.
  • Don’t open windows.
  • Don’t touch helos.
  • Don’t break anything.

And yes, today, I was fortunate enough to introduce my favorite Indianapolis Fire Department Batt Chief/PIO Extraordinaire….Ladies and Gents….put your hands together for BC Rita Reith!!!!!

Glad to see so many of my former students come here to FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute for more training. And they get to hear my same PIO instructor jokes again.

PC: Cody McDonell

PC: Cody McDonell

And great to meet so many of online peeps for the very first time aka #IRL. Yes of course there will be lots of tweeting and #hastagging going on this week.

You in my class? Holla yo!

Reporting live from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute’s Advanced Public Information Officers class…

@rusnivek