On the road again – teaching

I’ve decide to post some extra editions of my blog this week and next.  The reason I’m doing this is because I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be on the road again (Willy Nelson) teaching emergency preparedness.  This week I’m back in Emmittsburg, Maryland teaching at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute FEMA EMI, and next week I’ll be in Topeka, Kansas working with the Kansas Division of Emergency Management  doing the same thing.


If you are a regular reader of my blog you know I’m a huge fan of EMI.  The physical facility is always beautiful.  This week especially since the trees and flowers are starting to bloom.  Also, there’s lots of history here.  I’ve said before, EMI, and FEMA training in general, is a “golden nugget” that most don’t know about or if they do they choose not to take advantage of.

I’m back at EMI teaching the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager courses.  In addition to the training I’m co-instructing this week, I’ve also had the opportunity to sit in and observe a class titled “Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments”.  Following the CERT training I conducted back in January where 95% of the students represented 23 western tribes, I wanted to become more engaged in working with tribal governments.  As a result I was able to connect with Ms. Katie Hirt.  Katie is the FEMA-EMI Training Specialist responsible for tribal courses.


Katie shared with me that this week there are about 22 students in the class, and about half are from the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi tribe located in the State of Michigan (www.nhbpi.com/index.html ) .  The other half of the students represent various tribes located in the states of Virginia, Nevada, California, South Dakota, Maine, Minnesota, Arizona, and New Mexico.

According to Katie, FEMA sees this kind of training as part of the agency’s trust responsibility to train tribes.  Her expectation is that by attending this class, students will go home with ideas of how to implement an emergency management program, or if they have a program existing, how to make it better through planning, risk assessment, and partnerships (networking).  In the end, the goal is to bring emergency management capability to Indian country and then help it grow.

CERT Train-the-Trainer


Back to our class … our class is very diverse.  Students are from all over the country representing many functional roles of emergency management … from volunteers to traditional first responders.  What’s common among all is the desire to learn the new CERT curriculum and the instructional delivery skills that will allow each of them to take the CERT program back into their respective communities and become better prepared.

From an instructional specific standpoint, we spent time talking about their role as an Instructor and how to maximize learning.  We also reviewed the Basic CERT units covering Disaster Awareness, Fire Safety, and Disaster Medical Operations.

Special Guests


This afternoon, we had the opportunity to welcome special guest visitors to our class.  A delegation representing the National Emergency Management Agency of South Korea came by the classroom.  They were on campus today looking for “best practices” to take back to South Korea in an effort to establish a national emergency management training complex.  Our Course Manager, Paul Benyeda, had the opportunity to visit with members of the delegation and share with them the concepts of CERT training.

Well, that’s it for today.  Throughout the remainder of the week I’ll be blogging more about both classes and sharing pictures along the way.  I hope that you’ll be checking back often.


2 Responses to On the road again – teaching

  1. Loree Leslie says:

    I am trying to get a slot at EMI for the CERT T-T-T so I am enjoying reading your blog. Hope you are there when I come for my training! Thanks for the information.

    • Tim Bonno says:

      I would look forward to working with you. My understanding is that the May class is filled, but you might try the June or September classes. Best of Luck.

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