Emergency Public Information Officers (PIOs) are responsible for ensuring that the affected public receives accurate and timely information during an emergency. Armed with good information, people are better able to make good decisions and, by doing so, contribute to the overall response goal of saving lives and protecting property.
Some PIOs tasked with planning for, developing, and disseminating emergency public information at the State, tribal, and local levels bear this considerable responsibility concurrently with other job assignments. Others may have had limited prior experience or training in public information techniques. These PIOs, especially, must be provided with the opportunity to learn and practice the skills they will use on the job.
The Public Information Officer Awareness Course (G289) is designed to acquaint participants with the concepts underlying the PIO role. Taken alone, this course can provide a basic understanding of the PIO function for those new to the position. Additionally, this training is a prerequisite and foundation for more advanced training that takes participants from the awareness level to the mastery level in their public information careers.
As course material is now provided through electronic means it is highly recommended students bring a computer, capable of reading a USB flash drive, to the course. Please email the Course Contact for different media. Student manuals and other course material may be downloaded at any time from the PEMA web page (www.pema.state.pa.us) or click here to visit the download page.
This course will orient the participants to the public information function and the role of the PIO in the public safety/emergency management environment. Additionally, this training will prepare participants for subsequent training to further develop their PIO skills.
The primary audience for this training is individuals who have public information responsibilities as their main job or as an auxiliary function at the State, tribal, or local level of government.
A secondary audience for this training includes individuals who would benefit from a general understanding of the emergency public information function. This audience would include elected and other officials with responsibilities that would necessitate their working with PIOs or the news media during an emergency incident.
The 1-day Public Information Officer Awareness Course will use interactive presentation to convey information and engage the participants in learning. A knowledge assessment at the end of training may be presented as a traditional exam or used as a full-group review of course content.
Class Size and Seating Arrangements
This class is intended for a group of 20-24 students using five tables of four to five people each. As an option, you may want to pre-assign seats—if, for example, you want to ensure that participants from the same agency are seated at different tables. You also may want to rearrange seating assignments at some point to encourage networking; just keep in mind that this will take up some class time.