Whether the local news shows up on scene or just a school reporter, this person is in contact with the County’s or Health Department’s Public Information Officer and will have a way to direct the media to the appropriate source of information that has been reviewed for public release. All questions of a media nature need to be routed to this person.
They can be identified by the PURPLE vest they are wearing.
All requests for information of a Media nature should be given directly to the Health Department or County Public Information Officer, whichever is in charge of public information for the event. The Public Information Officer will oversee the release of information from the EOC/DOC to all of the Press Assistants at the PODs.
If a member of the Media shows up at the POD site the Press Assistant will have messages that are available for distribution. THE PRE-WRITTEN MESSAGES GIVEN TO THE PRESS ASSISTANT FROM THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT OR COUNTY PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER ARE THE ONLY PIECES OF IMFORMATION WHICH ARE TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO THE MEDIA BY THE PRESS ASSISTANT!!!
Be aware – the media can be persistent and demand answers to questions that representatives at the POD are not approved to answer. ALWAYS refer the media and reporters to the designated Public information Officer (PIO).
Specific Press Assistant training is supplied in the POD Manager class.