PIO Office 317-327-6086555 N New Jersey St.Indianapolis, IN 46204IFD.MediaRelations@indy.gov
Battalion Chief Rita ReithPublic Information Officer
Rodger BirchfieldStaff Photographer
In the age of live news reporting and the fierce competition to grab that "exclusive" coverage, the modern media has become very aggressive in its methods for gathering information. It's not unusual for the reporters to be on the scene before the fire department's first piece of equipment has arrived.
At all types of emergency scenes, dealing with the media and deciding what information should or should not be released are important challenges for fire officials. The effectiveness of any public safety agency hinges on the support of the public and how they perceive that agency, whether it is a fire department, a police department or other types of emergency responders. It is the responsibility of the IFD Public Information Officer (PIO) to create and maintain a cooperative, credible relationship with the news media, which has the ability to influence public opinion. The PIO is on call 24 hours each day.
Responsibilities of the IFD Public Information Officer include but are not limited to:
The PIO office hosts frequent social events for the news reporters and fire crew members in an effort to create familiarization between the members of the media and the firefighters. The PIO also sets up media events whereby the members of the media participate in firefighter training exercises. These functions help the firefighters and the media to a better understanding of each other and develop respect for one another.
The PIO allows members of the media 24-hour access to updated information. All calls are promptly returned while trying to facilitate all reasonable requests. The PIO also participates in events related to Media/Emergency Services Organization (MESO). MESO consist of public information officers from throughout Indiana who represent police and fire departments, emergency medical services and members of the media.
What does the IFD Public Information Officer do at emergency scenes?