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When a critical incident occurs, effective communication — both internally and externally — is essential. Public safety is the number one priority and ensuring important information is released in a timely manner must be a priority. The utilization of social media can be the key to successful communication for releasing and receiving information. Each emergency responder in a critical incident must know their role; too many times personnel have too many responsibilities and some things such as PIO roles get overlooked.
Fortunately, my agency has a full-time PIO role and during critical incidents our main responsibility is communication. However, other agency PIOs often have command responsibilities during an incident and cannot focus on the communication aspect of the event. It is important to identify a communicator who will bear the responsibility of communication in a critical incident, not just releasing information to the media or public, but to share information internally within their agency or other agencies involved. This session will review these challenges to prepare your agency to handle a critical incident in the most effective way possible.