Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut, is located on the Pequonnock River and the Long Island Sound. Flooding is the city’s most likely natural hazard but it is also vulnerable to earthquakes, hurricanes, hail storms and extreme heat or cold. Between 1950 and 2010 Bridgeport experienced 854 floods, 624 hail storms, 64 incidents of heavy snow, 31 tornadoes and three earthquakes. In 1985, hurricane Gloria swept across Connecticut downing trees and damaging some structures in Bridgeport.
Neither is Bridgeport immune to manmade emergencies like chemical spills, influenza epidemics, explosions or something totally unexpected. On April 23, 1987, a 16-story residential project called L’Ambiance Plaza was under construction when the frame suddenly collapsed, killing 28 workers. The terrible accident prompted a government investigation into lift-slab construction methods.
Qualifying for Emergency Management Careers in Bridgeport
Qualifications for a job as emergency management specialist are:
- Bachelor’s degree in emergency management or homeland security OR
- Degree in another field and certification in emergency management
- Several years experience in emergency management or services
- Excellent written and oral communications skills
The job description of an emergency management specialist is likely to include:
- Coordinate disaster response
- Develop plans for dealing with all types of hazards
- Give preparedness presentations to community groups
- Stay informed of relevant federal and state regulations
- Prepare grant proposals
There are four colleges/universities that offer programs in emergency management within 25 miles of Bridgeport. CT. Emergency management specialists earn an average of $67,860/year as compared to the national average of $50,460.
Additional information about employment opportunities can be obtained from the Bridgeport Office of Emergency Management, 501 N. Washington Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604; tel.: 203-579-3822.
Emergency Management at Work in Bridgeport, Connecticut
The Bridgeport Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Homeland Security evolved from civil defense, which focused on protecting the populace in the event of war. The 1979 creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expanded civil defense to include natural disasters. The Department of Homeland Security was formed in 2002 to focus on acts of terrorism. The combined departments ensure a unified system to protect the city from all potential hazards.
Functions of the OEM include:
- Mobilizing/deploying personnel and resources during an emergency/disaster
- Updating emergency operations plans and strategies
- Training emergency personnel
- Educating the public about emergency preparedness
- Managing the emergency operations system
- Operating the emergency operations center- the hub of action during a disaster
The groups that come together during an emergency include personnel from the fire department, law enforcement, emergency medical, public health dept, Red Cross, harbor master, utilities and city government.