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Palm Tran CONNECTION Charlie Boettiger – Paratransit Service Supervisor Media Relations/Negative Scenario.

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Presentation on theme: "Palm Tran CONNECTION Charlie Boettiger – Paratransit Service Supervisor Media Relations/Negative Scenario."— Presentation transcript:

1 Palm Tran CONNECTION Charlie Boettiger – Paratransit Service Supervisor Media Relations/Negative Scenario

2 Issues that the Media respond to:  Serious Motor Vehicle Accidents  Reports of Severe Injuries/Fatalities  Claims made by rider/citizens that the agency is mistreating the riders: Civil Rights Violations ADA Infractions Bus Operators not obeying traffic laws

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5 Examples of Actual Headlines ► Transit bus accident sends 6 to hospital ► Driver Dies When Tour Bus Plunges Off I-270 Ramp ► CT Transit Bus Accident Leads to DUI Arrest ► Claim: L.A. Bus Cuts Are A Civil Rights Violation ► Transit panel accuses MTA of civil rights violations ► Calgary transit drivers speeding

6 Actual Headlines - Transit Bus Accident Sends 6 To Hospital Driver Dies When Tour Bus Plunges Off I-270 Ramp CT Transit Bus Accident Leads To DUI Arrest Claim: L.A. Bus Cuts Are A Civil Rights Violation Transit Panel Accuses MTA Of Civil Rights Violations Calgary Transit Drivers Speeding

7 Items That Should Already Be In Place ► An Agency Plan— (Highlights )  The purpose of having a Plan is to ensure that all outgoing information remains consistent with the agencies policies.  The plan must designate a Central Point of contact with a backup person. Public Information Officer (PIO) or equivalent.  Maintain a list of influential media agents ► The PIO must build a working relationship with these agents in an effort to minimize misinformation and rumors.

8 Preparation Timeline TimelineBased OnActions 4-5 Days From Landfall Weather Forecast Staff Discussions/Meetings 3 Days From LandfallModels Predict Florida ImpactPublic Information Advisories Issued 48 Hours From Landfall Tropical Storm/ Hurricane Watches/Warnings are Issued Staff Shifts to Evacuation Operations Preparation// 36 – 18 Hours From Landfall Onset of wind/rain bands and more exact landfall location impacting Palm Beach County Decisions to Decrease/Cancel Next Day Services/Staff @ EOC Staff Reports to EOC Staff Operating in Full Evacuation Mode/ Landfall Sustained winds in excess of 40 MPH Transit Operations will be suspended. (Fixed Route and Paratransit) All ClearLess Than 40 MPH Wind and Safe Road Navigation Return Evacuees from Shelters Back to Residences. Resume Normal Service as quickly as possible.

9 Evacuation Categories ► ► Special Care Unit (SNU1) Prior Registration Required ► ► Special Needs Unit (SNU2) Prior Registration Required ► ► Special Transportation Assistance Program Red Cross Shelters. Prior Registration Required   For individuals residing in Mobile Homes and/or Hurricane Evacuation Zone   Nursing Homes/Assisted Living Evacuation - Emergency Case Only ► ► Herbert Hoover Dike Evacuations Western Community Evacuation Joint Effort with School Board

10 Steps We Take To Prepare Our Staff: ► ► Allow First Responders time prior to landfall to secure their residences. ► ► Ensure staff has all the needed communication devices (with back up power supplies.) ► ► Flashlights and batteries. ► ► Fuel all vehicles and identify alternate fuel sites. ► ► Communicate to each Manager, Project Manager and Supervisor exact locations and chain of command re: vehicle staging and pull out areas, and operating conditions.

11 Registered Clients Can Expect: ► ► A Minimum of Two Phone Calls   The First Call will be an automated call from Palm Beach County Emergency Management.   The subsequent calls will be from Palm Tran CONNECTION Staff, they will:   Determine if the client still needs Transportation to a Shelter   Confirm All Pick Up Information i.e. complete address, how many individuals are traveling (aide)   Provide an Approximate Pick Up Time of the Vehicle. They need be ready to board the vehicle when it arrives. ► ► Transportation to the closest Open Red Cross Shelter; unless they are registered to travel to the SNU1 or SNU2. ► ► Provide a vehicle that is equipped to accommodate their specific mobility needs. ► ► Unlike our Normal Service the Driver will be able to assist with their personal belongings from their residence. (IE 2 nd Floor or Higher)

12 Lessons Learned  When interacting with the media never attempt to answer all of their questions immediately after an incident has occurred. All the facts are still not verified.  It is always easier to add information to a story than it is to correct the information that was previously broadcast.  It is better to cooperate with the media than it is to have them as your enemy. Having a poor or confrontational relationship may lend itself to sensationalized stories being developed.

13 Power and Protection Generator allows for a speedy post disaster start up of Service. Generators are at both Fixed Route and Connection facilities.

14 Accordion Shutters Shutters installed on all Connection offices.

15 Post Event ► Step I: Wait for “All Clear” from EOC ► Step II: Assessment of Damage to Resources  Evaluate Radio Communications  Evaluate Damage to Roadways  Evaluate Physical Property and Assets ► Step III: Resource Deployment ► Step IV: Begin Transportation for Individuals to Life Sustaining Treatment Centers (Dialysis, Wound Care) ► Step V: Begin Transporting Residents from Shelters to their Homes. ► Step VI: Resume Regular Fixed Route and Paratransit Service as Quickly as Permitted

16 Summary ► Different Categories of Evacuation Transportation  SNU1  SNU2  Special Transportation Assistance Program (Red Cross)  Emergency Evacuations if Required  Herbert Hoover Dike Evacuations (Western Community Evacuation) ► Transportation to Life Sustaining Clinics ► Begin to Resume Normal Transit Operations  Make Transportation Part of your Family Plan

17 Summary ► Understand who the point of contact for the media is ► The PIO or their representative must be cognitive of the agencies policy as it relates to dealing with the media ► Never try to complete a story with your initial assessment of an incident or accident. (facts take time to verify) ► With the advent of Social Media, some employees may have access to information. They must be properly educated on what they cannot publish on their personal pages.


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