Emergency management training available

Brian Usher
Director of Public Works and Engineering
City of Zion, Illinois

It seems that a common refrain heard from public works professionals is that, “I can’t find any training for emergency management.” APWA became involved in offering this type of training beginning in the early 1980s. During those early years, members of APWA assisted representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in establishing the Integrated Emergency Management Course offered at FEMA’s National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Since the beginning of this program, public works professionals have assisted in the training of thousands of local agency representatives.

In addition to the FEMA program, APWA initiated the Emergency Management Committee to foster training and communication opportunities for all public works agencies. Newsletters, local training, and programs at the annual International Public Works Congress and Exposition all provided additional training opportunities.

Over the last five or six years, a number of other organizations have recognized the need for this important training. Courses are currently being offered by many agencies and educational facilities. Local colleges, county and state Emergency Management Agencies, APWA, AWWA, and many others all have training that is available in this important area.

This year marks a major step forward in the availability of training for local, county and state employees in gaining access to the FEMA Integrated Emergency Management Course. Persons interested in enrolling in the program can now apply directly to the program during one of two open registration periods. The next open enrollment period will begin December 1, 2000 and close on January 31, 2001. This will be for 10 courses that will be offered during April-October 2001. Dates and applications for this program can be obtained from the FEMA web page at www.fema.gov/emi/iemc_01.htm.

The Integrated Emergency Management Course is a combined lecture/exercise course that highlights the items needed in an effective plan, along with demonstrating how local officials can improve their efficiency by working together to plan for their agencies’ ultimate challenge. Instructors for this course are experienced professionals in the fields they present, including public works, police, fire, and emergency management. This is a resident course offered in Emmitsburg, Maryland at the National Emergency Training Center. There is no registration cost and FEMA reimburses the attendee for travel costs incurred for attendance. The only cost not covered is the purchase of the meal ticket for meals on campus, about $75.00 for the week. Additional information is available at the FEMA web site, www.fema.gov/emi/iemc.

If you have not been able to attend emergency management training before, take advantage of this exciting and rewarding opportunity. If you have been trained, you will find this the perfect chance to fine-tune your skills. This is your opportunity to be prepared when your agency faces its ultimate challenge.

Brian Usher can be reached at (847) 746-4064.