In Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, the borough’s Emergency Services Department (ESD) coordinates the emergency management services available in the region. In order to maintain the highest preparedness for the full spectrum of potential disasters, the ESD has formulated an Emergency Operations Plan. This plan coordinates resources, agencies and personnel to the appropriate situation and responsibilities.
With more than 25,000 square miles within it, Matanuska-Susitna Borough has an enormous amount of land to protect. The most common disasters to strike this borough’s three major cities and several unincorporated towns are earthquakes, fires, volcanoes and floods, although volcanic activity is mild. In order to provide timely and appropriate emergency services the cities and towns within Matanuska-Susitna Borough have developed their own emergency preparedness plans, with the borough’s resources available upon request.
Training and Qualifications for Emergency Management Professionals in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska
The emergency management organization within Matanuska-Susitna Borough is dependent upon a number of specialized professionals who provide key services. In a recent job posting requirements included:
- Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree
- Four years of information technology experience
- Certification in
- MCITP; or
- Business Intelligence Developer MCITP; or
- Database Developer
- Completion of the Incident Command System classes ICS-100, ICSC-200, and IS-700 within 30 days of hiring
- Attainment of ITIL Certification within one year of hiring
- Experience in project management
- Proficiency with GIS applications
- Proficiency in web programming
- Willingness to remain on call
- Willingness to serve during a major environmental crisis
- Clean criminal history
- Possession of a valid Alaska driver’s license
There are a variety of training options for emergency management professionals in Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Many of the municipal agencies provide training for first responders in emergency medical services, fire and rescue.
The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management offer a wide selection of federally designed and sponsored classes including:
- Emergency planning
- Principles of emergency management
- Effective communication
- Coordinating environmental and historic preservation compliance
- Anticipating hazardous weather and community risk
- Incident command for senior officials
Many of these courses are offered through state facilities as well as through online portals.
Command Structure of Emergency Management in Matanuska-Susitna Borough
The central command facility is the Emergency Operations Center located in Wasilla. This facility supervises emergency operations throughout the borough including incident management teams, public information and communications, hazardous materials spills, counter-terrorism operations, and disaster recovery.
The Borough Manager is the head of all borough emergency operations and is the ultimate decision maker during an environmental or man-made crisis. During day-to-day operations, the Director of Emergency Services supervises emergency services and preparedness operations. The Director is responsible for ensuring open lines of communication with other state and local agencies during a major crisis.