As part of Assistant Director Sam Henley’s ongoing training, she participated in the AWR 209v course over the past two days. The annotation of the v after the number indicates it was a virtual offering. Many of the training courses offered through the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have been shifted to WebEx, Zoom, GoToMeeting, or other virtual platforms to encourage responders to continue training despite the ongoing pandemic.
According to SEMA, the AWR 209 is “A Short Course for Emergency Responders is designed to provide emergency responders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to interact with the media and perform public information functions in preparation for and during incidents. Many agencies from small and rural communities do not have a full- or part-time public information officer (PIO) on staff and responders often assume this responsibility without formal training and practice. The intent of this course is to prepare responders for interacting with the media when required, whether it be roadside at the scene of an incident or for conveying directions to the public in a crisis situation.”
-Manage camera crews that show up unannounced at an incident scene.
-Know how to handle and control high-pressure TV interviews.
-Know where to look and what to say during the interview.
-Develop standard operating guidelines for responding to reporter calls.
-Use the Internet and social media for educating the public on hazards.
Next week, Sam will take part in the MGT 383v Emergency Operations Plans for Rural Jurisdictions course. Stay tuned for an update then!