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  1. #1
    Firehouse.com Editor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Who serves as your public information officer?

    We have noticed a variety of personnel in the role of public information officer for departments from coast to coast. Who plays the role of PIO in your department? Is it a full-time position, a split position (such as fire marshal/PIO) or just the chief or incident commander as requested.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber BULL321's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Western, NC


    Our PIO is which ever unlucky white hat on scene that gets the nod!
    Stay Safe

    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
    - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

    Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.

  3. #3
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    At work, we have a primary and a back-up PIO. They're both assigned as fire marshals.

    In my volly county, I often end up with the task, which is fine with me, I enjoy the role.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer

    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  4. #4
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999


    My fd has an assigned member who works out of the fire marshal's office.

    I have been a "voice", years back before the PIO position was established.

    Usually someone well versed in the department and knows how to speak without embarrassing the FD!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  5. #5
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!


    I am the PIO. I have a degree in public communications.
    The PIO duty is one of the many hats I wear at my FD.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Southern California


    Our Deputy Chief is our Department P.I.O. However, if he is not around we will either refer it to the I.C. or the Public Affairs Officer if they are on scene. The Colonel has also been a P.I.O. for us, honestly depends on who is there and wants to wear that "hat".
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Each department chief or ranking officer serves as the defacto PIO however, I am designated by our townwide chiefs association as the PIO. For larger incidents, I am activated to the scene. I will also assist with press for smaller events if called. However, I do not assume the authoirty as PIO for every incident but do serve as a single point of contact for the media. Many calls come to me and are sent out to the appropriate officer if needed.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Pio

    We are a small combination department in southeast Louisiana. I am a volunteer and have been assigned PIO duties for several years by the chief. In my line of work as a small business owner I have developed relationships over the years with the local media which have been very advantageous to our department receiving, what I believe to be, the majority of the PR of all the departments in our Parish. These relationships include all the local media, including radio, newspaper and television. I believe an active PIO can be a trememdous asset to all departments, volunteer or professional. These relationships also are critical to complimenting our fire prevention and education programs each year.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
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    Feb 2010


    the fire marshal if on scene. if not, then a chief officer.

  10. #10
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001


    Me (I'm an assistant chief), because I don't mind it and nobody else wants it. I do have some experience with TV and radio, and I do a lot of writing for the media at work, so I handle our print press releases too.

    If I'm at work or otherwise indisposed, I guess our chief would be the reluctant Plan B. We are a volunteer department running 140-ish calls a year, so it's rare that we need a PIO for television. I've always been there so far. Any other medium is less time-dependent, so I can usually whip up a release when I get back in circulation.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    --General James Mattis, USMC

  11. #11
    Forum Member BSFD140's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    For our department it is usually one of our two fire marshals, however if they are unavailable it usually falls upon whichever unlucky officer is available that the Chief points to and says go talk to the camera. Thankfully I am a lowly new hire rookie firefighter and won't be doing that job anytime soon.
    Brian Irey

    My comments are mine and mine alone - they do not represent any thoughts or views of my department or anyone else

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber batchief99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Upstate NY


    The IC normally is the one that will brief the media on the bread and butter fires. In the event it is a larger issue either the Deputy Chief or the admin BC will do the brief letting the IC continue with the tasks at hand.

    We are aware of the local media needs on deadlines and try to work with them in that respect.

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