EMI – Day Two

In my blog yesterday I shared with you that all this week I’m in Emmittsburg, Maryland at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) teaching a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train- the – Trainer and Program Manager course.  Each evening during my stay here, I’m writing a blog that will share with you my experiences and observations.  Yesterday, I briefly introduced you to the campus as well as what you can expect upon arrival on campus.  Today, I want to share with you more of the great history of the campus as well as some of the sights.  So let’s get started.

History of the EMI and the campus

In June of 1809, Elizabeth Bayley Seton (later canonized as the first American Saint) had arrived in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and established the first parochial school for girls in the United States. Over the years, that school grew to include Saint Joseph College, a four-year liberal arts college for women. In 1973, Saint Joseph College closed its doors and merged its students and faculty with Mount Saint Mary’s university, formerly a liberal arts men’s college located two miles south on highway U.S. 15.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter formed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by consolidating several government organizations.  That same year Congress appropriated funds to transfer the Civil Defense Staff College (CDSC) and United States Fire Administration (USFA) and National Fire Academy (NFA) into FEMA.

Saint Joseph College facilities were purchased by FEMA in 1979 with funding from Congress for the specific purpose of housing EMI, USFA, and NFA in suitable facilities. Since 1979, EMI continues to share the 107-acre campus with USFA and NFA. Collectively the campus is designated the National Emergency Training Center (NETC). CDSC funded its move and the major renovation needed to open required buildings for EMI on this campus. During transition, EMI held classes in temporary facilities until its renovations were completed and officially opened its doors on the new campus in early 1981. Additionally, major upgrades to the NETC campus occurred from 1991 through 1995 from Congressional appropriations.  Needless to say, there’s a lot of history on this campus.

Here’s a map of the campus :

FEMA EMI Campus Map












EMI training numbers and cost figures for FY2010:

  • More than 2 million course completions
  • 22,566 classroom course completions
  • 550 courses available
  • More than 1200 classroom courses were conducted

Memorials on campus

As I’ve mentioned previously, the campus is very nice and extremely well maintained.  Part of the joy of being here is the ability to walk around campus and look at the buildings themselves as well as the memorials.

One of the courtyards

Throughout the campus there are several unique memorials that have been erected to reflect honor for those that have served our country and their communities in the fields of emergency management or the fire service.  The following two pictures are one example.  These pictures (both daytime and nighttime) are of the 9/11 memorial of firefighters raising the American flag.

9/11 Memorial across the EMI campus courtyard

the 9/11 Memorial lit up at night









Class started today – Bueller? … Bueller? …Bueller?

Today was Day One of the CERT Train-the-Trainer class that I’m here teaching.  We’ve got a terrific group of over 40 students from all across the United States.  Everyone has a great attitude and very willingly contributes.

I’m working with three other great instructors and together we are working with students to develop their instructional skills so that they can then deliver the basic 20-hour CERT course in their communities.  We’re teaching others to fish!

If you aren’t familiar with CERT, it’s training that educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area.  CERT trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.  And best of all, it’s generally free training within your community.  If you want to learn more about CERT in your community, contact your local police or fire departments.

Here’s a couple of pictures of our class:

One of the larger classrooms on campus

A great group of CERT students learning together

Well, enough for today.  Tomorrow, we’ll look at more sites on campus and see how the day went in class.  Until then …

Tip:  October is Crime Prevention Month


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