Emergency management involves more than just an assessment of an emergency or disaster situation. It is important to understand the four phases of emergency management in order to relate and delegate duties of First Responders. The four phases include:

  • Preparedness
  • Mitigation
  • Response
  • 4 Recovery

The four phases are included in courses of study offered in emergency management training and certification programs. In addition, it essential to know specifications for assignment of leadership and team involvement in an emergency, disaster or crisis.

First Responder Responsibilities

The emergency manager is responsible for maintaining coordination and support to the emergency management team. The team is responsible for providing immediate preparedness with basics like food, clothing, shelter and medical supplies.

Why First Responders Should Have a Professional Certification in Emergency Management

Comprehensive preparedness is one of several reasons why First Responders should have a professional certification in emergency management. Other reasons to be certified are to be able to mitigate and respond to the immediate circumstances of the emergency so that it results in recovery to normalcy.

Professional Certification Courses of Study

When disaster strikes, First Responders must be prepared to withstand stress and psychological issues related to their duties in the specific type of disaster and use of emergency equipment such as driving an ambulance, use of medical equipment, and two-way radios for multiple industries. Professional certification for First Responders provides the means to maintain an advanced level of emergency management training. Professional certification courses are offered by states and the U.S. federal government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA Advanced Professional Series (APS) Required Courses

FEMA lists the following as courses of study required for professional emergency management certification:

  • IS2200 – Basic EOC Functions
  • G191 – Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center Interface, or E/L449 ICS Train the Trainer*
  • G557 – Rapid Assessment Workshop,
  • G205 – Recovery from Disaster, the Local Government Role, or E210 Recovery from Disaster, the Local Government Role*
  • G393 – Mitigation for Emergency Managers or G318 – Mitigation Planning for Local Governments, either Mitigation course will satisfy the APS requirements

There are also five additional elective courses offered in the APS course of study:

  • G288 – Local Volunteer and Donations Management
  • G364 – Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools, or L363 Multi-Hazard Planning for Higher Education*
  • IS703.a or IS703 – NIMS Resource Management, (Independent Study)
  • E/G202 – Debris Management Planning for State, Local and Tribal Officials*
  • G386 – Mass Fatalities
  • G361 – Flood Fight Operations
  • IEMC – One of the IEMC courses E900*
  • G108 – Community Mass Care and Emergency Assistance
  • G358 – Evacuation and Re-entry Planning
  • G290 – Basic Public Information Officers, or E388 Advanced Public Information Officer* or E/L952 All Hazards Public Information Officer*
  • G271 – Hazardous Weather and Flood Preparedness, or IS271 – Anticipating Hazardous Weather and Community Risk, (Independent Study)
  • G272 – Warning Coordination
  • E/L/K 146 – Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)
  • G235 – Emergency Planning
  • E/L/G 0141 Instructional Presentation and Evaluation Skills

Note that all substitute E or L courses are subject to Approval of a State Training Officer, according to FEMA. States also offer emergency management certification courses that found online, along with applications at state government websites.

The ability to prove training and skills for emergency management and response to disaster by First Responders is a central focus of the quality of the four phases of emergency management. If you are looking for certification to become a first responder then you should consider applying. There is job security in this profession as you can go anywhere in the country and there will be need for your skillset. It can be hard work, but often rewarding as you are literally helping save the lives of the vulnerable.