Washington State Emergency Management Division

*Postponed* L0388 Advanced Public Information Officer

Monday, May 18, 2020 to Friday, May 22, 2020
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Daily

Course Description

The National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) devote significant attention to the importance of emergency public information. Public information is one-third of one-fifth of NIMS under Command and Management, placing public information at the same level as the Incident Command System (ICS).

With public information included as a function within NIMS and ICS, it is critical to address and provide training for this important element of emergency management.

EMI's Public Information Officer (PIO) training curriculum includes courses delivered at the awareness, basic, intermediate, advanced and master levels.

The advanced level course is the fourth in the public information training series. It teaches participants additional skills for use during escalating incidents, including strategic communications and incident action planning as it relates to Joint Information Center (JIC) operations.

The goal of this course is to:

  • Provide participants with the knowledge and skills to establish, manage and work within a JIC through multimedia lectures and individual and group activities.
  • Provide participants the opportunity to apply advanced public information skills during a multi-day functional exercise (FE) designed to test the participants' abilities to analyze, coordinate, process and create information in a fast-paced, realistic environment.
  • Through a tabletop exercise (TTX), encourage participants to evaluate their processes to help them generate new ideas, products, or ways of viewing challenges or situations.
  • Encourage participants to improve their processes and ensure every action has a measurable relevance for each identified audience, including senior leadership.

Course Objectives
  • Relate the exercise scenario to their primary area of responsibility within the functional exercise by verbalizing their primary exercise role during the introductions. (Unit 1)
  • Apply current crisis communications methodologies to community audiences during an incident by completing three table group activities. (Unit 2)
  • Analyze the characteristics of the changing American family and how the media and fear play a role in shaping communication goals and messages by participating in a group discussion and an activity. (Unit 3)
  • Conduct an analysis of their personal and organizational disaster readiness based on current disaster readiness guidance. (Unit 4)
  • Relate the Incident Action Planning (IAP) process to the External Affairs 8-Step Strategic Communications Model by completing a multi-level activity. (Unit 5)
  • Demonstrate the ability to work in a JIC by actively contributing to exercise tasks and products as specified in the exercise objectives through functional exercise play. (Unit 6)
  • Draft an 8-step strategic communication plan for each TTX scenario. (Unit 7)
  • Share lessons learned during a whole class debriefing, and create individual professional development goals based on class experiences. (Unit 8)



  • IS-42: Social Media in Emergency Management
  • IS-100: Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS) - (any version)
  • IS-200: ICS for Single Resources & Initial Action Incidents - (any version)
  • IS-201: Forms Used for the Development of the Incident Action Plan - (waived if ICS-300 completed)
  • IS-247: Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) - (or either IS-248 or IS-251)
  • IS-700: National Incident Management System (NIMS) - (any version)
  • IS-800: National Response Framework; An Introduction - (any version)
  • IS-29: PIO Awareness (or G0289 PIO Awareness)
  • G0290: Basic Public Information Officer Course - (or S203 Public Information Officer or E/L0952 All-Hazards Incident Management PIO)
  • G0291: JIS/JIC Planning for Tribal, State & Local PIOs


**All 'IS' (Independent Study) courses can be taken through FEMA's Emergency Management Institute Independent Study site here: FEMA Independent Study


FEMA's 119 Registration Form must be included with your application. Complete it, sign it, have your supervisor or Agency Head sign line 22a & b. If you are NOT in Washington State, please have your State Training Officer sign line 23a. If you ARE in Washington State, you may attach the form without the State Training Officer signature.


FEMA 119 Registration Form



  • ICS-300: Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents
  • IS-120: An Introduction to Exercises
  • IS-242: Effective Communication
  • IS-650: Building Partnerships With Tribal Governments
  • IS-660: Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships
  • IS-909: Community Preparedness: Implementing Activities for Everyone


Target Audience

Full-time public information personnel who have completed the prerequisites.


  • The ā€œGā€ course requirements can be waived for those individuals who have extensive experience in public information activities.
  • Waiver requests must be in writing and submitted to Admissions.
  • Part-time public information officers with approval from course manager.
  • Students who have not attended this training in the previous five years may also apply.

Student Selection

Class size is limited. Student selection is determined by target audience, prerequisite completion, and agency needs.



King County Office of Emergency Management
3511 Northeast 2nd Street
Renton, WA 98056

Click here for directions

Course Manager

Stephanie M. Hakala

Washington Emergency Management




Do not apply if you haven't completed the prerequisites or you don't meet the target audience.