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 Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery #Arizona

Good morning Arizonaaaaaaaaaa!

Welcome to the Pima County Emergency Management Agency as we kick off another basic Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery class. Welcome intros from Training Manager Sandra Espinoza.

Glad to see so many agencies from across the state represented here in class today. Additionally, also good to be teaching with fellow Tier-1 Instructor Mary Jo Flynn.

As you know, MaryJo is a Region 9er too (Sacramento, CA).

Like a good Emergency Manager, I’m always looking at what other agencies have and how they do business. And yes, I esp look at what kind of creature comforts they have in their EOC. And without a doubt, I’d swipe right for this amenity in my EOC.

The folks at Pima County EMA are most definitely proud to have this amenity. #TotesJelly.

As a basic class, we are constantly talking about new apps and features. Here’s MaryJo talking about the FEMA App and their Disaster Reporter feature.

And you know that privacy is a huge concern so we spend a bit on making sure your settings as a government agency as well as personal settings are up to date.

Yes, make sure all your social media stuff is in order before a disaster…or else.

Most seasoned pros know that real Emergency Managers can adapt to most any situations. Big or small, tough or easy, we are flexible and can adapt to anything.

For those are worried about MaryJo and little old me? No worries. We are assimilating in here just fine.

Giddup – reporting live from our stagecoach!

@rusnivek

JIC/JIS Course at IFD HQ – Day-3!

Day-3 of the Joint Information Center/Joint Information System course here at the Indianapolis Fire Headquarters.

This place is super nice…

…and a bonus welcome by the Chief of the department – Fire Chief Malone!

Outstanding to see that kind of engagement of a large metro fire department stop by to say hi. And of course the IFD PIO BC Rita Reith working the PIO magic too!

Great discussion on when situations get worse…ie disaster declarations and how as situations start to grow, how we as a nation respond to help assist others.

You know we had lots of discussion on JIC/JIS operations and needs.

Also discussed how the executive policy room could affect actions of the field PIOs as well as the JIC – which stresses the need for solid, one voice communications from the Emergency Operations Center.

I know, I know, coordination again huh? But it’s the truth! If we don’t work together, we will likely fail our constituents. We must work together to support our ongoing efforts of safety with all our partners.

Great dialog on mutual aid partnerships. Regardless of the situation, we can all work closely with each other and share ideas.

Me? I am very proud of the work from everyone in the class this week.

Looking forward to working with all of you during the next big one.

Until then, go forth and tweet good stuff!

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the DHS/FEMA G0290 Basic PIO Course!

Day-2 of the DHS/FEMA G0290 Basic PIO Course!

We had time to discuss a myriad of topics including the importance of press releases.

While antiquated, there is some value. I think.

Lots of group work as we continue to move to support our agencies’ goals and mission.

As usual, we were fortunate to have excellent coordination with local and national media for this class.

Good Morning America Elyna Niles-Carnes (@encproducer)

WISHTV-8 Emily Kinzer (@EmilyKinzer8)

RTV6 Paris Lewbel (@PLewbel)

and Indiana State Police PIO Sgt John Perrine (@ISPIndianapolis).

So glad to have this candid media panel to discuss ongoing PIO operations with everyone.

Got a chance to facilitate this panel discussion as we had spirited discussion on “no comment”, realistic expectations, favoritism, “off the record” vs truth. Outstanding discussion from everyone from Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Florida, and of course Indiana.

And if you were wondering, no doubt, we did review all in-class interviews.

Solid discussion on tips/tricks to use during oncamera interviews as well as some great techniques to use during a crisis.

Looking forward to tomorrow – final day as we form Voltron and move into JIC/JIS!!

@rusnivek

Day-1 of the FEMA Basic PIO Course in Indianapolis

Day-1 of the FEMA Basic PIO course here in Indianapolis!

Glad to be teaching with FEMA Master PIO Erica Creech…

…and WTFD Capt Mike Pruitt…

…and oh a quick surprise….FEMA Master PIO Rita Reith!

That’s right, for those of you keeping score, this is the first time 3 FEMA Master PIOs have taught the Basic PIO Course. Whoop whooop!

Don’t worry, we did some on camera interviews as well as some fun dialog with out class that hail from Indiana and Kentucky!

We talked about press conferences and the importance and the need for onscene communications not only with the news media, but also the general public. Like the breaking news coming out of Mercy Hospital in Chicago.

Also sharing some stories of breaking news in Cleveland.

Great dynamic and solid discussion from everyone who attended today’s first day of FEMA Basic PIO!

@rusnivek

Day-1 ICS-300 with strong DoD participation

It’s Monday morning so lets kick off another hard core ICS-300 course…in the Poinsettia Room! 🌺

Also known as the city’s Emergency Operations Center too.

Diverse groups today with a strong showing from our Department of Defense and local public safety professionals.

This kind of joint training provides us the opportunities to build stronger partnerships and even strengthen the preexisting bonds with DoD assets including a few special teams.

Lots of group work as participants figure out priorities and challenges during the first few hours and into the first/second operational period.

But working through the issues in a calm classroom will help reduce the amount of stress during an actual emergency. Finding out strengths and gaps and addressing them so that everyone can respond better to any incident. That’s right enhancing response capabilities.

Sound familiar? That’s what HSPD-5 (Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5) is all about. A coordinated response! <heavy breathing>

That is exactly what Emergency Management is all about – build relationships for a coordinated response. <heavier breathing>

And also proof, if you teach it right, you can get people to smile in my ICS classes.

Awww yeah!

Great work from all participants – lotsa participation from everyone!

Glad to see so much collaboration from local, county, state, Federal, and DoD assets.

And as always, thank you for your service to our great country.

Happy birthday Marty. It’s a great first day.

Looking forward to the next two days!

@rusnivek