A Joint Information Center is a central location that facilitates the operation of the Joint Information System (JIS). There may also be a virtual location (through the internet) where public information officers (PIOs) coordinate media and community relations during an incident or event.
Through a JIC, public information releases and messaging are coordinated both internally and externally. The JIC structure is designed to work well for small or large situations.
JICs are established at the direction of the Incident/Unified Command and at pre-determined or incident-specific sites. They may be staffed by representatives from all agencies and jurisdictions involved in the response and recovery operations and also through intrastate and interstate mutual aid agreements.
There are more than 60 agencies represented in the Chatham County Public Information Officer Association (CCPIOA). Each of these PIOs represents an agency that may be called upon to assist with the response and recovery operations of a major incident. During routine operations, each PIO represents their respective agency. However, if an emergency occurs and the Lead PIO for a specific agency requests assistance, they may call upon the CCPIOA to help establish a JIC. It is likely that PIOs working in a local JIC will be from the CCPIOA. If the incident or event is large enough, state and federal PIOs may be called upon to assist.
In order to ensure everyone working in the JIC is prepared, CCPIOA encourages training. There are required courses for the JIC Operator position and then recommended courses.
NIMS/EOC for the PIO
Chatham County JIC/JIS Training
Basic Public Information Officers Course (G-290R-1) 288
Public Information Officer Awareness
Introduction to the Incident Command System (IS-100.b)
Introduction for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents (IS-200.b)
National Incident Management Systems (NIMS), An Introduction (IS-700.a)
National Incident Management Systems (NIMS), Public Information Systems (IS-702.a)
Advanced Public Information Officer (E-388)
Master Public Information Officer (E-389)
Intermediate Incident Command System (ICS-300)
Advanced Incident Command System (ICS-400)
National Response Plan (NRP), An Introduction (IS-800)
Social Media in Emergency Management (IS-42)