JIS – JIC planning class for Tribal State and local PIOs

A fine day to teach the Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s JIS / JIC Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs (G-291) course in Medina County!

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A classic start with The Who.

One of the big points emphasized in this class is the differences between a Joint Information Center (JIC) and a Joint Information System (JIS). Both have merits in daily operations and each have strengths and weaknesses in disaster operations.

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Sometimes PIOs don’t understand that a JIC or JIS activation is just like a normal activation. If you can’t figure out the differences between the two, take the class from those who have actually worked a JIC or a JIS.

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On Tuesday/Wednesday in the Basic Public Information Officers’ Course (G-290), we talked about training and readiness efforts for any PIO. Go Kits were a hot button topic as everyone’s PIO kit would most likely be different. Resource manuals are great to have, but difficult to keep updated. Just maintaining a PIO contact list is a tedious task.

Much discussion about food in the kit. This was obviously NOT a good example of what you should be eating during an JIC activation.

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Prob not the best lunch.

Healthy body = Healthy mind. Period.

As the day progressed, we facilitated several in-depth discussions on teamwork, joint efforts in responses as well as some pre-scripted messages that can be used by everyone. Planning now will reduce the amount of white hair during an incident.

Establish relationships now with local health departments, local and regional hospitals, local Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Teams, Special Technical Rescue Teams. Easily rely on your state staff and resources to support your actions. A great wealth of information is available to bring to the table. Just establish that connection before that awkward 0300 hit.

Additionally, tapping into local resources from other Federal Agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives(ATF), National Weather Service (NWS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs Border Patrol (CBP), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), etc…so many options to establish relationships!

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“Building relationships now can only increase our response effectiveness during a disaster.” – K. Sur

Looking outside government agencies, public and private partnerships can support our safety and response initiatives – so we need to make a concerted effort to make those connections now. Build relationships before a disaster!

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Sur and Mo!

So how can you bring all these resources together? Consider these actions to explore in your jurisdiction:

  • Train. Train. Train.
  • Open discussions with various providers.
  • Invite your all-hazards partners to meetings.
  • Meet regularly. Maintain contact.
  • Take classes together.
  • Share resource lists and contacts.
  • Support each other during operations.
  • Review After Action Reviews / Improvement Plans (AARs/IPs) together.

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And if you were wondering, class participants did well on their post-tests.

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Psssst…the answer is “C” #not

We had a great time teaching this week. Much thanks to the Medina County Emergency Management Agency and EM Director Christine Fozio for their hospitality. Super fun time.

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So much ducking fun (duck face reference)

Special thanks to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency for sponsoring this all-hazards class for our partners in public safety.

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(L to R): PIO Instructor Kevin Sur, Medina County Emergency Management Director Christine Fozio, and PIO Instructor Monique Witherspoon.

If you are looking to attend OEMA’s free PIO courses:

  • Public Information Officers Awareness course (G-289)
  • Basic Public Information Officers’ course (G-290)
  • JIS / JIC Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs course (G-291)

**coordinate through OEMA State Training Officer Susan Traylor.

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As always, I’m looking forward to the JIC / JIS activation calls. I am excited for these new PIOs to put their new acquired PIO skillz in place. And yes, I said skillz with a Z.

Time is short so do good stuff!

@rusnivek

Technical jargon and giving actionable information Safety-PIO-SM-14-006

14-006: Technical jargon and giving actionable information
Agency: Chicago Fire Department Topic(s): Industry codes / Actionable info
Date: Fall 2014 Platform: Twitter

Industry speak or technical jargon is part of what we do every day. But using technical terms on a social media platform will be confusing to those who are NOT in the fire service. That’s what the Chicago Fire Department did yesterday at their big 3-alarm fire when they tweeted technical jargon.

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The use of technical jargon is rampant in emergency services but when speaking to the media or the general public, we need to remember that everyone did not grow up with a VOX alarm or SCU tones. In this case, a “311” or 3-11 alarm means that there are 11 engines, 5 Trucks, 2 Tower Ladders, 6 Battalion Chiefs, 1 Rescue Squad, 2 Ambulances, 2 Paramedic Chiefs, Deputy District Chief, Deputy Fire Commissioner, and the 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner are onscene. There is no way to include all that information in a tweet, but using more simple terms will help your audience understand the scale of your ongoing incident.

Before you post images, make sure your pictures are rotated correctly. I know accuracy is sometimes overlooked in lieu of speed, but it takes less than 5 seconds to orientate/rotate a picture (In this case, it was going to be a long operation). And note, by just rotating a picture does not equate that you are “doctoring up” photos. But a correctly posted photo will help media repost and format your information quicker to the masses.

During an emergency situation, your constituents need the information pushes to be actionable and specific to your audience. Not only inform them of the danger, but tell them what they can do about it.

A more effective tweet could have read:

Chicago Fire: Large 3-alarm fire at Harrison St x Fifth Ave. Traffic delays-avoid the area. (insert two pictures)

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You cite the authority having jurisdiction and established incident command presence.
  2. You generally described the size/category of the ongoing incident and critical information to media.
  3. You identify the exact location of the incident.
  4. You describe the delays in the area and give actionable information to your constituents.
  5. You still have lots of room to push properly orientated pictures with your informational tweet.

 

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this file:

TechnicalJargonAndGivingActionableInformation-Safety-PIO-SM-14-006