FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) announced last week the graduation of 32 students from the Emergency Manager Basic Academy course, the first of three phases of the Emergency Manager Professionals Program (EMPP), which began in October 2011.
The 32 graduates completed courses, including Science of a Disaster; Planning Emergency Operations; Exercise Design; and Public Information and Warning at EMI in Emmitsburg, Md.
The grads now have the option of applying for the second or third phases — Emergency Manager Leaders Academy and Emergency Manager Executive Academy.
The 32 grads are representatives of a multitude of regions across the country but all possessed the necessary experience level to be chosen to participate in the EMPP. Students go through a “vigorous selection process to make sure people with the right background, skills and experience are chosen,” said EMPP Superintendent Tony Russell.
Most of the participants in the Basic Academy have between one and three years in the emergency management realm, but offer different experiences based on region and background, which is important for the program, Russell said.
“Our goal is to make sure we have whole community partners,” he said. “It wouldn’t be effective if we had representatives from one state or region because a lot of the value comes from the members sharing with the rest. They bring to the classroom different experiences, and the instructors act as sounding boards.”
Students usually take the courses sequentially at the Emergency Management Institute but sometimes have to leave because of hazards back home. They can go back and finish later, Russell said. “Our goal is to have them do it sequentially, but you never know when they’ll have to leave for a disaster.”
The EMPP offers a stipend (usually about $500) to cover students’ travel expenses. The courses are free as is room and board. Obviously, students have to make further arrangements with their employers.
Not everyone starts with the Basic Academy course. Those with more experience and training can begin with either the Leaders Academy course or the Executive Academy course. Leaders Academy students usually have three to four years of experience, and Executive Academy students have more than four.
The goal of the EMPP is to enhance the skills and knowledge of emergency management best practices and procedures. “These folks have the foundational skills so they can go back to their jurisdictions and become an even more important part of the success of that location,” Russell said.