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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Captain's Log June 11th; My First Day in the JIC

JIC inductee Nichole Fortson
I appreciate Judy, Ethan and Greg for allowing me to be featured on their BLOG.  This is such an honor! 

Saturday, June 11, was my first day working in the Joint Information Center (JIC) during a real-world event.   

I wanted to do my best to support them because they do such a terrific job trying to get out fundamental and accurate information to the public. I definitely felt the pressure being the rookie, but Judy and Ethan made me feel at ease and after a couple of hours of taking calls and answering emails and updating a media monitoring document in support of the Wallow Fire that feeling disappeared.

This was such an eye-opener and learning experience for me.  I witnessed with my own eyes the challenges that Judy, Ethan and Greg face working in a Joint Information Center (JIC) during a disaster.  They have to keep up with social, local, national media. I have never heard of half the news and social media websites before.

You were done with the trail mix, right?
They are constantly coordinating with public information officers in the field, county public information officers, news channels, emergency managers and working issues with internal co-workers.  I can’t express enough how much I admire what they do and their remarkable accomplishments. They get out helpful, accurate, efficient and effective information as quick as they possibly can. 

Ok, enough about my admiration and envy for them, let’s talk about how I witnessed Ethan eating a whole bag of delicious chocolate trail mix. I didn’t realize he had an amazing hidden talent--catching trail mix in his mouth while I threw it from across the room, he never missed!

"Officer" Riley
It was funny hearing Ethan state that he was receiving emails referring to him as “Officer Riley”.  So… the next time you see him, please refer to him as Officer Riley…J   

Towards the end of the day, I felt that in stressful situations it is wonderful when you can enjoy the company of your co-workers, work well together as a team, and work towards a common goal to assist and support the community in need. It was a pleasure working with Judy in the JIC…..Oh and with Ethan too!   These two are truly great at what they do!

Contributed to AzEIN by guest blogger Nichole Fortson

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