CSAR Basic Public Information Officer (PIO)

Expires in: 104 days


The role of a backcountry SAR team PIO is critical to helping teams fundraise, recruit new members, educate the public to decrease the team’s mission load, and create general public awareness of what we do. They also help us advance our state-wide legislative agenda and maintain partnerships with other organizations focused on outdoor recreation in Colorado.  While there are good courses available for emergency services PIOs from DHSEM and FEMA, they address a world quite different from ours.  Fire, EMS and law enforcement PIOs focus most of their time on preventative activities rather than incident response, and when they do have an incident it tends to be large-scale rather than small-scale.  Their world is also different because they are generally paid professionals, while most of us are volunteers juggling PIO duties with our rescue roles, day jobs and family responsibilities.  These differences led CSAR’s Public Information and Education (PIE) program to create our own customized, hybrid course for current and aspiring BSAR team PIOs in 2022. 


The series consists of four virtual sessions on weekday evenings and one final in-person session on a weekend.  Attendees have two years in which to complete the series, which we offer every year on a similar schedule in the fall.  Those who complete all five sessions will receive a certificate of completion from CSAR.


All virtual sessions begin at 6:00 pm and end no later than 9:00 pm. The in-person final session will be a full-day workshop from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Virtual Session 1: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2024, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm - "So, I'm the PIO...Now What?"
This introductory session will be facilitated by Dave Arnett of DCSAR and Anna DeBattiste of CSAR/SCRG 


Virtual Session 2: Thursday, September 19, 2024, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Strategic Communications Planning 
Facilitated by Micki Trost of DHSEM and Anna DeBattiste


Virtual Session 3: Tuesday, October 1, 2024, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Working with the Media 
Facilitated by Drew Hildner of CSAR/RMRG and Anna DeBattiste


Virtual Session 4: Tuesday, Wednesday, October 16, 2024, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Social Media 
Facilitated by Chris Valentine of EPCSAR and Anna DeBattiste


Full Day, In-Person Final Session: November 2, 2024, 9:00 am - 5:00 pmWriting workshop, on-camera workshop and joint information center (JIC) training

Location TBD based on class enrollment, but it will be a central mountain location. Facilitated by several PIOs from the PIE program and Micki Trost to lead the JIC training.  We will announce the location no later than September 16th.


Registration fee: The full series is $200 per registrant.  (If you would like to register for just one session, or you are a registrant from last year looking to make up a session you missed, please email to make arrangements.)


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