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    The 188th Wing hosted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Basic Public Information Officer (PIO) Course

    The 188th Wing hosted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Basic Public Information Officer (PIO) Course.

    Photo By Capt. Dylan Hollums | The 188th Wing hosted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Basic Public...... read more read more

    FORT SMITH, AR, UNITED STATES

    04.29.2021

    Story by Capt. Dylan Hollums 

    188th Wing

    Ebbing Air National Guard Base - Fort Smith, Ark. The 188th Wing hosted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Basic Public Information Officer (PIO) course here April 29, 2021.

    The course was only the second in-person class offered since early 2020; and the students consisted of local, state, federal, and military first responders from around Arkansas.

    The three-day interactive class walked the students through disaster scenarios where they had to develop a strategic communication plan, define challenges, implement strategies, and evaluate their effectiveness.

    The stand alone course also covered public safety warning systems, the Joint-Information Center, and media relations training.

    “This was a wonderful opportunity to gain more knowledge to do our jobs in public relations,” said Amy Lyman, director of marketing for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. “To work together as a group, across agencies in a joint information environment is vital. The public needs to have access to emergency information instantly from a source they can trust.”

    Public information is a vital function in disaster operations that contributes greatly to saving lives and protecting property.

    The training program provides PIOs with the opportunity to learn and practice the tasks of gathering, verifying, coordinating, and disseminating public information at all levels of government.

    “Being able to quickly and efficiently to relay emergency information to the public is more important now than ever considering the pandemic and domestic terrorism threats,” remarked Dr. Joe Trahan, a FEMA instructor for public affairs who worked with people like Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld.

    The course also equips participants with the skills needed for effective verbal and written communications for various target audiences, working with social media, and the basic tools and techniques to perform effectively as a PIO in times of crisis emergency response.

    “I think every public affairs professional should take this course, whether officer, enlisted, or civilian,” emphasized Trahan. “It is imperative we communicate to get the right information to the right people at the right time to make the right decision. Our role is critical to public safety.”

    Upon completion of the basic PIO course, the students are eligible to enroll in the advanced FEMA PIO course to be held at Fort Smith in September. To learn more about emergency management or how you can improve your own disaster preparedness plan visit: www.FEMA.com.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.29.2021
    Date Posted: 05.05.2021 14:46
    Story ID: 395715
    Location: FORT SMITH, AR, US 

    Web Views: 127
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN