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Training Newsletter

In This Issue


October 2014

EMI Training Makes an Impact on Emergency Planning in Higher Education

College campuses may be more vulnerable to civil unrest and public heath emergencies than the general population because they operate in an open, unrestricted environment.

To meet the need for college campuses to become better prepared, EMI together with state, local, tribal, and private-sector partners, developed L0363, the Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education training course. This exercise-based training provides practice in comprehensive planning in the unique environment of higher education.

The course brings five to six higher-education emergency management teams and their community support organizations together on one campus to compare and refine their Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs). The academic community discusses all steps in the emergency planning process from creating a team to identifying and assessing risks to training and exercising the plan, as well as, takes part in an exercise that evaluates and measures their performance in responding to an incident. In the end, participants are prepared to plan, train, exercise, and tailor their EOP to natural and human-made threats that specifically target their campus.

Photo by Nick Smallwood - Mar 13, 2014
L0363 Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education class at the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC in March 2014.

This EMI program has actively built partnerships and fostered unity of effort across academic communities. Since 2010, this course has been conducted on 95 campuses including large universities in metropolitan areas, community colleges in rural areas, 16 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, one Tribal College and University, nine Historically Hispanic Serving Colleges, and two Canadian colleges connecting 685 institutions and 3,138 individuals.

Lessons-learned reports in the aftermath of campus tragedies recommend that institutions of higher learning:

  • have a concept of operations based on an all-hazards approach, and
  • have an incident management response mechanism that transfers easily from one incident to another.

Institutions of higher education who participate in L0363 come away with the tools to leverage their collective resources and apply creative solutions for responding to an incident on campus.

Photo by Nick Smallwood - Mar 12, 2014
Emergency Operations Center simulation at the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC in March 2014

Some of the things that participants are saying about the course:

“Informative and eye-opening class. Good and positive information to take back to my authorities and personnel.”

“Provided me with a much clearer understanding of what is needed to improve our Emergency Management Plan.”

“The entire course was valuable, but especially important in learning how to assess risks and how to plan and build a response.”

“I spend a fair amount of time on emergency management/planning; it was exciting to see the others from my campus become engaged.”

“This course was valuable in bringing more players to the conversations related to emergency management. The functional exercise helped to bring the experience of the chaotic situation.”

“Getting me to finally realize that I have a part and everyone is needed to make this circle turn.”

For more information including the FY 2015 schedule of courses or to request the course be brought to your campus, please visit our website at

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Emergency Management Higher Education Program Celebrates 20 Years of Education Success

Over 300 educators met June 2–5, 2014, at EMI for the 16th Emergency Management Higher Education Program Symposium. The theme for this year – 20 Years of Emergency Management Education – The Past, The Present, The Future – celebrated the 20 years EMI’s Higher Education Program has been in existence.

Annually, the symposium brings together educators representing colleges and universities which:

  • have a hazard, disaster, emergency management, or homeland security academic program in place;
  • are investigating or developing a program; or
  • are interested in working with FEMA to develop such a program.

When the Higher Education Program began in 1994, only four colleges offered programs; today over 282 colleges and universities offer programs in emergency management or related fields with nine institutions offering doctorates in emergency management.

Over the course of the four-day symposium, the 307 registered participants attended ten plenary sessions, 52 breakout sessions with 65 different presentations, and seven workshops. The participants heard of the difficulties in moving the Higher Education Program forward from the founders, Kay Goss and Dr. Wayne Blanchard. They also received an update on education activities from Timothy Manning, FEMA’s Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness.

Additionally, a special, condensed version of E0390, Integrating Emergency Management Education Into Your Institution, was conducted for those institutions interested in developing an academic emergency management program. Twenty faculty and administrators from eight institutions learned of issues and potential solutions to adding a program in emergency management to their campus curricular offerings.

Planning for the 17th Emergency Management Higher Education Program Symposium, to be held June 1–4, 2015, at EMI, will soon begin. More information, to include the call for papers, presentations, and registration information will be posted on the Emergency Management Higher Education Program website – in December 2014

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The National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System All-Hazards Position-Specific Training Program Five Years and Still Growing…

All-Hazards Position Specific Training Program Logo, NIMS-ICS All-Hazard Position-Specific Traing Program - O R D O  E X  C H A O S. ICS Operations Planning Finance Logisitics

Question: What do the following recent incidents have in common with each other?

  • Mudslides in Washington State
  • Tornadoes in Alabama and North Carolina
  • Flooding in Pensacola, FL and the Northeast
  • Active Shooting at the Fed Ex Facility in Kennesaw, GA.
  • Wildland fires in Arizona and California

Answer: During every one of the above incidents and many more like them, state, local, tribal, and sometimes Federal Incident Management Teams (IMT) were on the scene and fully functioning to help quell the emergency.

Position-specific training has been in place for many years, thanks to the National Wildland Coordinating Group (NWCG) and their experience in dealing with wildland fires. However, the need for all-hazards position-specific training, as we know it today, was borne out of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. This need was further reinforced by the natural disasters of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, which underscored the ‘all hazards’ nature of any such training.

One major identified need that was realized from the above disasters was the development of a credentialing system and related training for emergency responders in order to properly staff key incident command system (ICS) positions during emergency operations. Accordingly, a comprehensive training program of 14 separate position-specific courses (now 18 courses) was developed. The program was, and is, designed to provide all hazards competencies and behaviors for the eight ICS command and general staff positions as well as select unit leader positions.

While no single course of instruction can provide all of the knowledge and skills needed to function effectively in an IMT position, nationally standardized training represents a valuable first step toward the day when all first responders have their credentials recognized as a part of a nationwide credentialing system. In that regard, all persons who successfully complete classes in the program are entered into the national training database maintained by the National Emergency Training Center’s Admissions Office database and receive EMI Certificates of Completion. In addition, all instructors for the program are listed in a national database established for that purpose and accessible to regional training managers, state training officers, and selected federal employees.

The explosive growth of the program since its inception can be better understood by looking at a few statistics. Since the inception of the program in October 2009:

  • 24,733 students have completed one or more classes related to NIMS or ICS
    • 2,000 students who have completed on-campus train-the-trainers
    • 22,000 + students who have completed off-campus courses.
  • 6,000 students per year are completing classes in the All-Hazards Position Specific Training Program

It is anticipated that number will be sustained for the foreseeable future.

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Course Teaches Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning in Chambersburg, PA

On June 2–3, 2014, the Franklin County (PA) Department of Emergency Services, along with the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) and EMI, offered a course known as Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning (L197) in Chambersburg, PA.

The course covered a range of topics related to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. The focus of the course was to provide participants, who are responsible for emergency planning, with the information necessary to utilize disability, access, and functional needs-inclusive practices, as well as, to provide updated skills and knowledge to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.

The offering brought together a broad audience of 28 participants that represented various organizations including local and neighboring county emergency management agencies, the state emergency management agency, universities, nursing homes, family care services, health agencies, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members, and the American Red Cross.

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State of Maryland Completes FEMA Training on National Response Framework Integrated Emergency Management Course

FEMA joined with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and other state partners to conduct a state–level, L0945 State National Response Framework (NRF) Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) on June 10–13, 2014, at the Maryland State Emergency Operations Center in Reisterstown, MD.

Nearly 50 participants, representing state agencies and non-government organizations involved in law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, public works, public health, and volunteer service, participated in the community-specific, four-day course. It was conducted by training specialists from EMI. This course engages the state’s emergency response resources in a simulated and challenging training and exercise environment. It practices the relationship between the Federal and state governments during a simulated incident that results in a presidentially-declared disaster.

“This was an important opportunity for our State,” said Ken Mallette, MEMA Executive Director. “This course gathered our response community together to develop clear expectations of our roles and understand what our individual needs are during a disaster to better serve our citizens and local partners. This is the beginning of closer collaboration that will help us improve our already excellent emergency response. This was an excellent training opportunity for us all. The experience will help us attain our vision of A prepared Marylander creates a resilient Maryland.”

A team of seasoned response and recovery discipline-specific instructors provided learning opportunities to assist state-level responders and agency representatives with improving their ability to communicate and coordinate between agencies. The exercise was based on a 6.2 magnitude earthquake centered near Frederick, MD, to test the State Response Operations Plan and the first practice of the new State Recovery Plan.

“This course gave us an opportunity to see how we are deploying our personnel and how to best organize our State Emergency Operations Center,” said Brendan McCluskey, Director of MEMA’s Preparedness Directorate. “We must be prepared to meet the needs of our communities throughout the state--now and well into the future. We learned many lessons this week and we will develop action plans to address those issues. This course and the Emergency Management Institute professionals did an outstanding job to help us become better prepared. It was a rewarding training and exercise experience.”

The Integrated Emergency Management Branch of EMI provides community-specific training and exercise opportunities to approximately 26 separate jurisdictions at the state, tribal, and local levels of government each year. This delivery represented our 39th state in the six-year history of the course.

If your state is interested in applying for the course –– L0945 State National Response Framework IEMC –– please visit:

If you have questions about the IEMC or any other training initiative at EMI, please contact Paul Ganem, Training Specialist and Course Manager, at

For more information about Maryland’s participation in the exercise, please contact MEMA Public Information Officer Ed McDonough at 410-446-3333 or

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Master Exercise Practitioner Program (MEPP) Candidate Presents Functional Exercise at Florida Governors Hurricane Conference

Current Master Exercise Practitioner Program (MEPP) candidate Hal Grieb, Emergency Management Coordinator at the University of Florida, recently presented his “Active Reaction” active shooter functional exercise at the Florida Governors Hurricane Conference.

Grieb’s exercise was designed as part of his MEPP take-home assignment, to design, develop, and conduct a functional exercise. MEPP candidates are required to utilize the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) templates and cycle to illustrate a progressive approach to exercises that includes the whole community.

The “Active Reaction” exercise tested and evaluated the University of Florida’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, department response plans, policies, and procedures related to the Emergency Operations Team and onsite Incident Command Post (ICP) staff, using the actual operational equipment and the University of Florida’s Emergency Operations Center in a simulated campus–based emergency event.

“I cannot say enough about the positive success we gained due to this exercise. I followed HSEEP basically to the letter regarding briefings, meetings, and deliverables for this exercise and it was an amazing success. When I first gathered my planning team, I had pretty decent buy–in. By the end, our departments had so much support, the University agreed to grant us a reoccurring university exercise budget!”

Grieb returned to EMI in June to finish the last week of the MEPP series of courses.

For more information on MEPP, contact Meghan Van Aken at

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60 Professionals Graduate from EMI’s Master Exercise Practitioner Program

In early May, approximately 60 exercise professionals returned to EMI for the third and final week of the Series 28 Master Exercise Practitioner Program (MEPP). The students represent the whole community from across the country serving their agencies in various exercise design/planner roles. They attended EMI for three non-consecutive weeks to participate as part of an Exercise Planning Team.

The students were tasked with the challenge to create from scratch, a policy-level tabletop exercise, an emergency operations center (EOC)-focused functional exercise, and a full-scale exercise using the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program cycle to illustrate a progressive approach to exercise design.

This was the first offering of MEPP that included a full-scale exercise. Participants were required to focus the full-scale exercise on a mass casualty incident that included triage, treatment, and transport of victims.

Photo by Nick Smallwood - May 14, 2014
Master Exercise Practitioner Program Candidates role-playing first responders arrive at the scene of a simulated train crash involving 23 victims with various injuries.

Robyn Spano, a Continuity Program Manager with DHS said, “I can’t believe how much I learned in the MEPP program. It’s a great thing when a program can meet and exceed all expectations. I’ve always been a fan of EMI, but I’ve specifically recommended MEPP to many DHS Headquarters continuity personnel. I’m very glad I had the opportunity to participate in the program.”

Each fiscal year, EMI hosts three MEPP Series with a target audience of experienced exercise professionals. The three-week series challenges students to become part of a new exercise design team and work through the process of exercise design. Best practices and lessons learned are shared through networking and small group activities.

Photo by Nick Smallwood – May 14, 2014
Master Exercise Practitioner Program Candidate Ryan Zollicoffer keeps track of deployed resources as he communicates with first responders in the field responding to a simulated train crash.

As of Fiscal Year 2014, approximately 2,300 participants have completed the program. For more information on MEPP, contact Meghan Van Aken at

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City of Bothell Completes an Integrated Emergency Management Course

From May 19-22, 2014, the city of Bothell participated in an Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC). More than 45 participants, representing multiple city and county agencies (such as law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, public works, and emergency management) participated in a community-specific, four-day course. The course was conducted by training specialists from EMI and engaged the city’s emergency response resources in a training and exercise environment.

“This was an important opportunity for our city,” explained Jennifer Warmke, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the city of Bothell. “This course enabled us to gather our response community together, at one time, so we all have a clear understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities in response to a disaster. I see this as only the beginning of closer collaboration that will lead us towards improving upon the already excellent way we respond to large-scale incidents within our city.”

IEMCs build awareness and skills needed to develop and implement policies, plans, and procedures in an Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) to protect life and property through applications of sound emergency management principles in all phases of emergency management.

The course included a combination of classroom lectures, discussions, small-group planning sessions, and functional exercises which exposed participants to new ideas, and increased their awareness of the necessary coordination with other agencies and organizations. Classroom components focused on a variety of disaster and emergency management issues, while the exercise-based training placed ECC personnel under realistic crisis situations within a structured learning environment.

“This IEMC course provided the city with an excellent opportunity for team building among the represented departments and agencies, while working through exercises focused on utilizing the city’s resources and unique challenges,” said Carol Cummings, city of Bothell Police Chief. “This course and the EMI professionals did an outstanding job in helping Bothell to be better prepared.”

EMI’s Integrated Emergency Management Branch provides community-specific training and exercise opportunities to approximately 16 separate jurisdictions at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels of government each year.

If your community is interested in participating, please check out our website at: If you have additional questions about the IEMC or other EMI training initiatives, please contact Paul F. Ganem, Training Specialist,

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Building Good Relationships is Vital to Emergency Management

The Integrated Emergency Management Branch is instrumental in building good relationships within communities through their Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC). As evidenced by this, when an IEMC is conducted in residence on-site in Emmitsburg, MD, an average of 50 to 70 students take part, from a variety of community partners that play a role in disaster response and recovery. The IEMCs can be specific to hazards such as hurricanes, floods, and all hazards or differ in focus such as preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. The IEMCs can be specific for a generic audience such as various partners from emergency management, fire service, and public works, or be community specific, for example, to all students from a given jurisdiction. During the four-day course, the representatives participate in a set of classroom trainings using table-top and realistic functional exercises.

As for “road” courses (off-site IEMC conducted for a specific community at their location), the only thing that limits the number of students who can attend, basically comes down to, can we safely put them in a training environment. Having 125 students in an off-site community specific course is not uncommon. This not only trains the “A” team, but also the “B” and “C” squads.

An IEMC was conducted in March 2014 in Colorado Springs. This community, which has been hit hard by wildfires, landslides, and weather events, houses five local Air Force and Army bases, with several thousand military families. Participants in the course included several Colorado Spring's city agencies: public safety, emergency management, public works, local service members, and several other offices.

One problem we often encounter is people that originally sign up for the course are not able to participate for one reason or another. Such was the case with the Colorado Springs course. Rather than have empty seats, the training team approached the local emergency manager and asked if the empty seats could be used for local military emergency managers. This allowed ten Air Force and two Army personnel to participate. They were integrated into the EOC and fully participated. This created an opportunity to discuss things such as support agreements; assets located on military installations; requests not only from the State of Colorado, for National Guard, but also for active duty support; and whether the city should put a military commander in the Unified Command Structure.

“The exercises presented in the IEMC provided the opportunity to test the capabilities of effective communications, resource management, situational awareness, and interagency cooperation between the agencies at the local, county, state and federal level,” said Tech. Sgt. Rene N. Hernandez, wing inspection team manager for the 302nd Airlift Wing Director of Inspections.

“One positive outcome of the training was identifying a way the city emergency management team could benefit from a practice used by United States Air Force Airlift, (USAFA),”said Andre Mouton, the 10th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency manager.

“The biggest takeaway for me was how we all worked together, how we built relationships within the community, and the importance of knowing who the agency representatives are in emergency management incidents. Being there with our counterparts at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Schriever Air Force Base (AFB) was a valuable learning experience,” Hernandez said.

Staff Sgt. Katherine Benoit, an emergency manager stationed at Schriever AFB said she jumped at the opportunity to participate. "This training was an opportunity for me to see how the city of Colorado Springs operates during these types of events," she said. "We could definitely take some of their practices and incorporate them out at Schriever. I know I plan on using some of their exercise scenarios they expressed here at Schriever."

"Being in the role I am in, I can present the information learned to both our 21st and 302nd emergency managers to take a look at the way we operate and build strong relationships with our Colorado Springs community in order to manage incidents affecting our installation, and knowing how to provide support to our community," Hernandez said.

The training that EMI provided to the city of Colorado Springs was at no cost to the city or the military members and was very well received especially given the fact that everyone is working with tight or decreased budgets. This was a win-win for all participants, especially the military who would not normally have been able to participate because of their tight budget. For no cost, all received great training, mentorship, team building, and knowing who to communicate with.

Looking back at this IEMC, not only did the city of Colorado Springs open some doors, but FEMA (EMI) took advantage of the open seats to gain value to the taxpayer.

Photo by Nick Smallwood – May 29, 2014
Colorado Springs, Colo. May 30, 2014 –– Emergency responders participate in Federal Emergency Management Agency training through EMI held March 17-20 in Colorado Springs. The four–day Integrated Emergency Management Course featured realistic functional exercises, including an airplane crash, an active shooter and a train derailment.


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EMI and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Co-Host a Pandemic Influenza Virtual Table Top Exercise

EMI and the CDC co-hosted EMI’s virtual table top exercise (VTTX) based on a pandemic influenza scenario on May 21, 2014, from the National Emergency Training Center campus in Emmitsburg, MD, and CDC in Atlanta, Georgia.

The CDC provided a panel of Pandemic Influenza experts from the Community Mitigation, Medical Care and Counter-Measure, Vaccine and Epidemiology Lab Task Forces to participate in the event and provide technical perspective and expertise to the event.

Photo by Nick Smallwood – May 20, 2014
Thirty-three members of the Cumberland County, PA, Emergency Operations Center participate in the Pandemic Flu Virtual Table Top Exercise (VTTX) on May 21, 2014.

Thirty six community-based groups participated, representing a whole community perspective from communities representing: all ten FEMA regions; state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) organizations; and 25 of the 56 states and territories.

Our partnership with these 36 communities included over 650 participants that took part in critical thought and information sharing from different perspectives and levels of government that resulted in the opportunity to examine policy, plans, procedures, and clarify roles and responsibilities in response to a pandemic influenza incident.

This innovative, low/no cost, near paperless delivery, is convenient with little preparation time or effort. This EMI program, which began in September 2012, continues to grow. Because of the far reach of this program and its value, it won the FEMA Administrator’s Award for Innovation in 2013.

In FY 2014, the EMI VTTX Program conducted 27 4-hour exercises (108 hours), virtually reached 280 community based groups, and trained 4,159 participants.

For more information on the EMI VTTX Program, contact Todd Wheeler at

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At A Glance

Enhancements to EMI and NETC Campus

Wi-Fi is Here!

Great news!! Wi-Fi has finally arrived at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) campus. Students attending classes at the NETC Campus will now have the ability to use Wi-Fi in the classroom areas, as well as other places on the campus (rather than just the dorm areas).

Additional Flush Mount Floor Receptacles in Classrooms

EMI is upgrading classroom areas adding flush mount receptacles in the floor so that students will be able to plug in their electronic devices. We’re making progress!

Renovations Complete at National Educational and Training Center (NETC) Dining Hall

Depending on when you lasted visited the NETC campus, it’s possible you had to eat in the temporary dining facility (if during January-April timeframe). The newly renovated Dining Hall, located in Building K is now operational for dining for students taking courses on-site at EMI.

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Upcoming Training for FY 2015

Master Trainer Program

For those who may have heard that EMI was not continuing its Master Trainer Program (MTP), the decision has been reversed. EMI will continue to offer the MTP in FY 2015. Revisions are currently being made to the Program and will be announced when complete. We look forward to your continued support for the MTP. Here is a list of MTP courses for FY 2015.

  • E610 Introduction to Instructional Design Methods

Aug 10 – 13, 2015

  • E611 Instructing and Facilitating in the Classroom and Online

Jun 15 – 19, 2015

  • E612 Managing Courses and Classrooms

Jun 22 – 25, 2015

  • E614 Analysis and Design of Training

Mar 2 – 6, 2015

  • E615 Development and Evaluation of Training

Mar 9 – 12, 2015

  • E616 Training Program Management

Feb 2 – 6, 2015

  • E617 Training Project Management

Feb 9 – 12, 2015

  • E618 Strategic Issues in Training Management

Oct 6 – 7, 2014

Information for the MTP can be found at:

National Emergency Management Basic Academy

EMI is rolling out the National Emergency Management Basic Academy in Fiscal Year 2015.

  • E101 Foundations of Emergency Management
Oct 27 – Nov 7, 2014
Jan 26 – Feb 6, 2015
Apr 13 – 24, 2015
Jul 6 – 17, 2015

  • E102 Science of Disaster
Dec 8 – 10, 2014
Mar 16 – 18, 2015
Jun 15 – 17, 2015
Aug 10 – 12, 2015

  • E103 Planning
Dec 11 – 12, 2014
Mar 19 – 20, 2015
Jun 18 – 19, 2015
Aug 13 – 14, 2015

  • E104 Exercise Design
Dec 15 – 16, 2014
Mar 23 – 24, 2015
Jun 22 – 23, 2015
Aug 17 – 18, 2015

  • E105 Public Information and Warning
Dec 17 – 18, 2014
Mar 25 – 26, 2015
Jun 24 – 25, 2015
Aug 19 – 20, 2015

  • E110 Foundations Course Train the Trainer
Nov 17 – 19, 2014
Feb 9 – 11, 2015
Apr 27 – 29, 2015
Jul 20 – 22. 2015

  • E111 Train the Trainer for E/L102 – E/L105
Dec 2 – 4, 2014
Mar 30 – Apr 1, 2015
Jun 29 – Jul 1, 2015
Aug 24 – 26, 2015

Information regarding the National Emergency Management Basic Academy can be found at:

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