Closing out Day 3 at FEMA EMI

Today we closed out the last day of our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer class.  Based on the strong student evaluations that were turned in after the class, everyone in the class had a good time and learned a lot.  As an instructor, it’s a great feeling to know we made a positive impact with others.

The day starting out

We started out the day with reviews of the Basic CERT units that address Disaster Psychology, Terrorism (this was my unit) and Conducting the Final Practical exercise.  A good portion of the remainder of our day was spent with our second “Teach Back” exercise.  I’m always amazed at how much everyone improves on the second Teach Back as compared to the first.  And finally, as we closed out the class we addressed ideas as to how to “Prepare for conducting a CERT Basic training course”.

On deck … CERT Program Manager

Most of our students will be sticking around for our second class which is a CERT Program Manager class.  While we lost eight students, we look forward to welcoming eight new faces.

The CERT Program Manager class prepares participants to establish and sustain an active local CERT program in their community.  The course defines the core components of a local CERT program and focuses on Best Practices for:

  • Developing local CERT program goals and a related strategic plan
  • Promoting local CERT programs
  • Orienting, managing and retaining CERT members
  • Recruiting, funding, managing, and retaining CERT trainers
  • Acquiring and managing program resources
  • Delivering and managing effective training and exercises
  • Evaluating and sustaining the program

Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Government

Although I have a down day tomorrow, I look forward to spending time sitting in and observing the last day of the Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Government.  This course provides tribal leaders with a basic understanding of emergency management principles and their role in leading and directing their Tribes in implementing comprehensive emergency management systems.

The course addresses the following topics:

  • Federal, state, tribal, and local partnership in emergency management.
  • Getting a program started.
  • Concept of emergency management and the four phases.
  • Definition and analysis of hazards.
  • Resources for emergency management available at the tribal, state, and federal level, as well as from the private sector.
  • Developing an emergency operations plan.
  • Comprehensive emergency management, its elements, and the appropriate role taken by the emergency manager.
  • Meeting the challenges for upgrading and sustaining emergency management capabilities.

For a long time Native Americans were not a direct focus of most emergency management efforts across the country.  Thankfully, that changed a few years ago as FEMA began reaching out to tribal communities and leaders.  Today, it’s great to see many tribal representatives here on campus working together in an effort to learn and take back to their tribes information that can be used to help tribal members and communities better prepared and more resilient.

And finally, I leave you with a picture of our class.  It’s truly been my pleasure working with each member of our class.


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