Breaking News
An Emergency Responder's Guide to the Media

Russell J. Decker, CEM®
Allen County (Ohio) Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management

August 27, 2008

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Allen County EMA

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10 Ratings Submitted: 8 attended, 2 read transcript only
1 (10%) Academia 0 (0%)
8 (80%) Business 1 (10%)
1 (10%) Government 4 (40%)
0 (0%) Volunteers 1 (10%)
0 (0%) Other 4 (40%)

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"This is my first visit--format is great because you learn not just from the guest presenter but from all who join in. Thanks."
Trudy K. Jenzer

"Great presentation/discussion regarding the avenues for Public Information Officers to disseminate information in the most effective manner."
A. Blumenthal
Noble Hospital

"This was my first virtual forum and found the forum very informative. I look foward to reading Russell J. Decker book Breaking News when it is released."
Francis Pitre

"Most informative... thank you very much."
Simple Wins Concepts LLC
The Heartbeat Beacon Scrib

"Provided good insights in media relations--how their interests interact with emergency response."

"The transcript was very informative. I was unable to attend the session but was able to gain useful tips and information from reading the transcript. Thank you!"
Jeff Camplin
IL MERT Safety Officer

"It was a great presentation and an effective use of participants' time."

"Russ made the comment, ' Remember, every microphone should be considered to be ON and every camera loaded and taking photos.' Go to and see some of the live feeds setting up and you'll understand what he is refering to. They can 'getcha' !"

Amateur Radio Emergency Service

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Russell J. Decker is the Director of the Allen County (Ohio) Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. He has been with the agency since 1990, serving as Director since 1998. Mr. Decker currently serves as first vice president for the International Association of Emergency Managers and will serve as the group's president in 2008-2009. In June 2007, he was appointed to the 30-member National Advisory Council for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Mr. Decker earned his designation as a Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) from the IAEM in 2003. He is now serving in his second term as a member of the CEM® Commission. He completed FEMA's Professional Development Series in 2001, and holds an Master of Science degree from Tiffin University with undergraduate studies from Ohio State University and the University of Northwestern Ohio.

Co-author of the book Homeland Security: Handbook for Citizens and Public Officials (McFarland & Co., 2006), and published author of numerous articles in professional and trade magazines, Mr. Decker will have his first full book published in 2008, Breaking News: An Emergency Responder's Guide to the Media. Prior to becoming an emergency manager, Russ spent fifteen years as a practicing journalist at the local, regional and national levels, providing him with a unique perspective from "both sides of the microphone."

Mr. Decker was presented the prestigious "Clayton R. Christopher Award" in 2006, recognizing his outstanding contributions as one of the Nation's leading local emergency managers. He received the "Excellence in Public Service" award from the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council in 2005. He served as president of the Emergency Management Association of Ohio in 2002-2003.

Mr. Decker is an instructor in hazardous materials, incident command, arson investigation, and bombs and explosives for the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy and the Ohio Fire Academy. He also serves as an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Tiffin University and Rhodes State College.