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The PIO in ICS Public Information in an Incident Command System Setting Incident Command System INCIDENT COMMANDER INFORMATION OFFICER OPERATIONS PLANNING LOGISTICS FINANCE Responsibility for Incident Info Incident Commander is responsible for managing public information. Depending on the scope of the incident he may delegate the responsibility of Public Information Officer to another responder. This PIO reports directly to the Incident Commander. PIO’s Role Collect, verify, assemble and disseminate information. Act as advisory resource for the IC. Help make decisions about health, safety and welfare of community and responders. PIO’s Duties Inform the public via the media. Manage the media at the scene. Manage the flow of information. What is Public Information Info. that is used to ensure the public’s safety. Protects the interest and welfare of the public. Legal issues. Goals Educate and inform the public Change behaviors and attitudes. Call people to act. Create positive image. Always tell the truth. Purpose of Information Save lives. Emergency Alert System Protect property. Minimize impact to the environment. When is a PIO Needed? Breaking news. Response actions required. Issue warnings and advisories. News conferences and briefings. Confidence in government. Community Relations Know your community. Demographics. Community organizations. Know preparedness attitudes. Media Relations Credibility with media. Be aware of media needs. Ensure media access within the bounds of safety. Respect media deadlines. Writing Skills Outlines thoughts. Sentence structure, spelling and grammar. Provide information needed. Who, what, when, where… Produce quality documents. Public Speaking Work from outline: Don’t read verbatim unless required. Deliver your message Speak confidently and persuasively. Appearance Presentation Skills Photography and video. Computers: Powerpoint Handouts and transparencies. Graphics. At the Scene Get briefing from Incident Commander. Take notes. Locate and establish media area. With view of scene if possible. Safe area Background for photography Ensure media safety. Initially . . . Identify yourself with vest or badge. Make organization insignia visible. Briefly summarize what is going on. Answer questions. If you don’t know the answer, say so. Schedule updates and keep to your schedule. Large or Multi-jurisdictional Incidents Coordinate with other agency representatives. More than one PIO? If so, deal only with your agency’s activities Establish a media pool Sharing of tapes or photos PIO in the EMO Control media access. Schedule conferences and updates with regard to deadlines. Recruit competent help…you’ll need it. Communications with IC, on-scene, and support personnel. Proactive vs. Reactive Good relationship with Unprepared media representatives Shoot from the hip Plan ahead Not credible Anticipate hazards Insensitive to those Deliver message while affected by the protecting victims. incident. Tell the truth Evasive- “Hiding Something” Scene Management Preplans. Scene assessment. Organize information…use standard form. Establish media area. Updates. Post-incident briefing. Summary Deliver accurate and timely information. Life safety is first priority. The media is not the enemy. Be Prepared!
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