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The National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) devote significant attention to the importance of emergency public information. As shown in Figure 1, public information is one-third of one-fifth of NIMS under Command and Management, placing public information at the same level as the Incident Command System.
With public information included as a function within NIMS and within ICS, it is critical to address and provide training for this important element of Emergency Management.
The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Public Information Officer (PIO) training curriculum includes courses delivered at the awareness, basic, intermediate, advanced and master levels. The awareness, basic and intermediate level courses were developed by EMI and are managed by state emergency management trainers who teach basic skills and techniques for use during small, localized, single-agency responses; preparedness campaigns; and escalating localized responses. The advanced level course teaches participants additional skills for use during escalating incidents, including strategic communications and incident action planning as it relates to Joint Information Center (JIC) operations.
The goal of this five-day course is to:
At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
Methods of alternative messaging
Long term messaging
Expanding incident staff management
The target audience for this course is public information personnel who have completed the prerequisites listed in the Prerequisites section below, and/or pre-course knowledge check. The “G” course prerequisites can be waived for those individuals who have extensive experience in public information activities. Written requests for waivers must be submitted to the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) Admissions Office.
New curriculum was good! Current topics and industry issues. Use of video and IT technology is good! Ongoing scenario drill with news flashes, and expertise of instructors = excellent!
8-Step Model and use of 215 for PIO assignments.
This class was worth ALL/EVERY penny and time I invested into it.
The JIC exercise was most valuable. Being thrown into the situation helped my understanding of the different roles and responsibilities in a JIC. The smaller individual exercises in the classroom were really helpful too.
Format--lecture/exercise/frequent breaks. The experience overall was fantastic. Thank you so much!
Very valuable information excellently presented. It will be taken home and applied. Putting It Into Practice stressed the players and the knowledge level.
Exercise; discussion about traits that work well in JIC was super important. We know the tasks, but many people don't understand group dynamics.
Introduction of new and relevant PIO doctrine. The JIC exercise and utilization of SimDeck. Outstanding instructors. Great balance of experience and platform skills. Re-emphasis of ICS/NIMS and how PIO fits in to actual response.
Crisis Communications Plan; best practices and lessons learned; base communications on objectives; complex audiences. SimDeck is great.
SimDeck was a fantastic tool!! Applied exercise in JIC. Fear-Mongering discussion. Also, I was in the actual EOC I would use in an emergency, which was helpful. Networking. Also, I really liked how personal and family wellness was addressed.
The ability to coordinate, interact, and work with the other agencies was priceless.
Loved the disaster simulation. The exercise component was extremely helpful. I enjoyed the JIC creation process; learned a lot about inter-PIO communication!!
The teamwork, learning strategic communications and incident action planning. Learning to resolve conflicts within the team and ways to move forward. Learned how to be flexible and communicate within teams.
Thinking outside the box. Taught in pre-reqs. This is the only way to do it, when "flexibility" is the key item. Working out of mobile JIC created a real life scenario--was amazing and now I know more assets available to me in an emergency.
It was an eye-opening experience. Having the opportunity to play a part in an operational EOC with colleagues from all over the State and with varied skill levels and personalities in a secure environment was invaluable. Not to mention the very respectful and understanding instructors who managed a balance between instruction and teamwork. Thank you all!
I learned so much. There are things I never even thought to ask about. I am so much more aware. My thought process will be forever changed.