ICS-403 Public Information Officer

EMSI Public Information Officer Job AidCourse Overview

ICS-403 is designed for a Public Information Officer (PIO) assigned to an incident as a member of an Incident Management Team (IMT), as well as for the PIO assigned to an incident as an Assistant Public Information Officer in a variety of capacities. This course will help responders develop a strong set of core PIO skills and the ability to apply them within the context of an IMT. The primary focus of the course is on supervision and management of the entire Public Information System, including public affairs and social media and the interactions which occur in an ICS/IMT structure. This course is also distinct from other information function courses in that it combines elements from both the basic and advanced functions to concentrate training on the fundamental duties and responsibilities of the PIO in an all-hazards environment. This course is an instructor-led training that supports learning through discussion, lecture, and active participation in multiple exercises that provides a realistic, hands-on approach to mastering the skills required of a PIO.

Specific Course Topics

  • Establishing the PIO Staff and Workspace
  • Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities
  • Initial Response and Briefings
  • Media Plan
  • Interactions with the IMT and meetings/briefings
  • Problem Solving
  • PIO Effectiveness

Target Audience

Responders with an interest and background in public information and/or public affairs activities.


Duration: Two days (16 hours) 

Pre-requisite (recommended)

Successful completion of ICS-300

The course material does not assume or require experience as a Public Information Officer, but also is not a basic PIO course. Experience within an Incident Command or Incident Management Team is also desirable. 


  • FEMA E/L952
  • NWCG S-403
  • USCG ICS-403