Public Information Officer

PIOF decorative banner: photos depicting PIOF position.  PIOF position description: The Public Information Officer (PIOF), a member of the Command Staff, is responsible for the formulation and release of information about the incident to the news media, local communities, incident personnel, other appropriate agencies and organizations, and for the management of all Public Information Officers assigned to the incident.

PIOF Homepage Button Position Incident Position Description Button Position Reference Materials Button Position Qualification Requirements Button

The Forest Service and Department of Interior are enabled by Administratively Determined Pay Plans (AD Pay Plans) to hire persons for temporary duration for the following reasons:

  1. To cope with a sudden and unexpected emergency caused by a fire, or extreme fire potential, flood, storm, or any other all-hazard emergency that threatens damage to federally protected property, has the potential to cause loss of life, serious injury, public health risk, or damage to natural or cultural resources unless brought under immediate control.
  2. To provide emergency assistance to States under formalized agreements.
  3. To meet mission assignments issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Incident Business Committee (IBC) reviews positions annually and establishes pay rate classifications for each position.

For more information on the AD Pay Plans, go to

Mar 2022

Removed: IS-700, NIMS: An Introduction from required training.

Feb 2022

Added: PIO1 position endorsement approved 01/19/2022.

Oct 2021

Remove: ICS-100, Introduction to ICS and ICS-200, ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents from Required Training.

Added:  S-203, Introduction to Incident Information OR E/L952, All Hazards Position Specific Public Information Officer to Required Training.

Added: Satisfactory performance as a Public Information Officer, Technician (PIOT) to Required Experience.

Added: Public Information Officer Type 2 (PIOT) to "PIOF Maintains Currency for These Positions."

Added: to "Other Training Which Supports Development of Knowledge and Skills:"

Removed:  S-110, Basic Wildland Fire Orientation from "Other Training Which Supports Development of Knowledge and Skills:"

Oct 2015

Added: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents (ICS-300) and Advanced ICS (ICS-400) as required training to align position with FEMA Type 3 standards.
Added: Transition Plan

  • All qualified individuals will remain qualified. Individuals will be granted ICS-300 and ICS-400 in responder’s records at the time of implementation.
  • All PIOF trainees will be required to complete ICS-300 and ICS-400 prior to position qualification.

Jun 2011

Added: Introduction to Incident Information (S-203), Introduction to ICS (ICS-100), Wildland Fire Service (L-180), Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (S-190), Firefighter Training (S-130), Human Factors in the and Annual Fireline Safety Refresher (RT-130) as Required Training.

Apr 2006

Position created.

The title of Information Officer Type 3 (IOF3) has been changed to Public Information Officer (PIOF). This position is entry level, is not a prerequisite for higher qualifications, and is not tied to the complexity of an incident.

  • All current qualified PIOFs can be qualified as Public Information Officer, Technician (PIOT) if they have taken the required PIOT courses.
    • S-110 is not required for qualified or trainee PIOFs once they have taken S-130.
  • Read the complete 2021 PIO Transition Plan.


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