The Public Information office (PIO) is a 24/7 operation and responds to media inquiries, Open Records and legal requests and acts as the legal liaison for EMS employees. Its primary function is to serve as a conduit for the release of accurate and timely information from credible and accountable sources to the media and citizens of Travis County.
Requests for Public Information by Activity by Fiscal Year
We continue to experience a dramatic increases in the number of subpoenas that we are receiving and are required to process as a result of the enactment of the Michael Morton Act that went into effect January 1, 2014. This Texas law requires disclosure of all police reports and witness statements, regardless of whether the evidence is material to guilt or punishment. Consequently, our Medics are automatically subpoenaed for all incidents in which they were the responding agents if the incident will require trial or other court proceedings. These also include our medics who perform blood draw collection at the Central Booking facility for the Austin Police Department.
Other Responsibilities Include:
- Respond to major/high profile incidents; on-scene department spokesmen
- Crisis management message mitigation
- Collaboration with Community Relations and Injury Prevention to increase awareness
- Design, produce and deliver department presentations
- Generate press releases and talking points for executive staff
- Creation and delivery of safety messaging
- Manage and operate all department Social Media activity
Our Facebook page is used as a tool to share information to the Austin-Travis County community. Pictures, video, stories, and links are posted throughout the week to keep our community and the media informed and engaged. Our Twitter feed, @ATCEMS, is our breaking news and incident reporting channel and is considered a “must follow” channel by local media. The ATCEMS Newsroom YouTube channel is the primary medium for media and department produced videos including Public Service Announcements (PSA’s), promotional videos, training videos and news stories.
Social Media Activity: Facebook Likes
Social Media Activity: Twitter Followers
Social Media Activity: YouTube Views
- Co-produced and provided technical advisement for an internationally distributed web series with The Chive titled “Tools of the Trade” which focused on the unique emergency medical tools and equipment utilized by Austin-Travis County EMS Medics.
- Launched an intensive social media campaign that reduced K2 utilization in our community by 63%. This campaign incorporated the use of real-time incident tracking software to provide EMS activity as it was occurring in the field. This and other ATCEMS data has been and continues to be utilized by Federal and local law enforcement agencies in their prosecution of the distributors of these products.
- Produced the first episode in an community educational PSA campaign series titled “What to do When” that focused on calling and interactive with EMS Communications Medics when dialing 9-1-1.
- Produced a motorcycle safety PSA that illustrated safety equipment and safe riding techniques, released in conjunction with the start of the Republic of Texas (ROT) Motorcycle Rally.
- Designed, created and produced, additional multimedia safety and social media presentations that were presented/distributed to multiple community groups and civic organizations in Central Texas. Participated in and/or provided information for a variety of safety campaigns, discussion panels, forums and symposiums at the local, regional, state and federal level.
- Launched the @ATCEMSmedics Instagram account for the purpose of reaching a younger demographic. This account is focused on showcasing the “behind the scenes” work lives of our medics for recruiting and promotional purposes. In under five months the account has gained over 1,500 followers.