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Getting Started in Emergency Management

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  • Getting Started in Emergency Management

    How does one get started in emergency management? I have a BS in Computing and Security Technology, taken courses in risk assessment and disaster recovery. Also, I've been accepted into a Masters program in Homeland Security Management. What else should I/can I do to eventually start a career in emergency management? Thanks!

  • #2
    Volunteer at a Fire Department...the experience you will gain there will be extrodinary

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    • #3
      em

      Originally posted by pm1031 View Post
      Volunteer at a Fire Department...the experience you will gain there will be extrodinary
      I concur. Volunteer Fire Dept., Rescue Squad, Search and Rescue Unit, all will give you valuable experience, in the EM area.

      You'lll want a dept. that offers training, in different EM areas, be it a Basic Search and Rescue Class, Lost Person Behavior, Emergency Medical Technician, or Firefighter I or II.

      Also if there is a choice of Depts. in your area, I would visit them, talk to some members, and see which one is really busy and offers the most in the way of experience and training.

      The volly FD I run with, does about 1300 calls per year, thats a good number, about 3 runs per day. You join a companty that does 100-200 calls a year, how much are you going to see.

      Good luck

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      • #4
        You get a bachelor's and then a master's or a graduate certificate in EM and start at the bottom and work your way up the ladder. IMO, being a volly firefighter is not going to do you much good. Knowing how to run hose or vent a roof has nothing to do with the logistics of coordinating millions of dollars worth of equipment and resources across multiple jurisdictions. Contact you local county EMA and pose your question to the director or his assistant.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by just joe View Post
          You get a bachelor's and then a master's or a graduate certificate in EM and start at the bottom and work your way up the ladder. IMO, being a volly firefighter is not going to do you much good. Knowing how to run hose or vent a roof has nothing to do with the logistics of coordinating millions of dollars worth of equipment and resources across multiple jurisdictions. Contact you local county EMA and pose your question to the director or his assistant.
          I must respectfully disagree. While smaller departments may not do you a lot of good, my department has sent people to NYC the day after 9/11, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, and most recently the Washington DC Metro crash (of course we are right outside of DC so maybe that one shouldn't count). It all depends on what Department you get on with. Luckily for us, our Deputy Cheif works for FEMA, as do three of our Members at Large. We have a boat rescue team and an urban rescue unit. As stated before, it all depends on the Department. Joining a FD might not get you the career by itself, but it sure won't hurt.

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          • #6
            You learn a lot from volunteering. You will learn the how and why of EM. You will learn the ICS/IMS system. you will learn a lot about interacting with a bunch of different agencies.

            When NYC stood up its Mayors Office of Emergnecy Managementm, who did they hire.??? Not some guy with a MA, in EM. They hired a bunch of Cops, Firefighters, and EMS Personnel, all who had exp. working the streets, and also had some Haz-Mat, FF, or EM experience.

            So, I disagree, that gettting a degree is better than volunteering. I think you need a Degree, BA, or preferablly MA, but I also think they will not hire you without REAL WORLD experience. And I am speaking from my personal exp. having worked in EM in NYC, and for the Fed.

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            • #7
              And who says you can't go to school and volunteer? I work a full time job, and am constantly taking different classes to advance in the FD, ontop of my volunteer duties (In my dept., we are required to physically be at the station 8 hours a week minimum)

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