Emergency Management Careers in Linn County, Iowa

The Linn County Emergency Management Agency acts as the umbrella commander and coordinator for municipal police departments, the sheriff’s office, and state as well as federal agencies. A team of emergency management specialists from these departments plus citizens and business leaders from the local community ensure that all the bases are covered in the event of a disaster. The agency maintains strong ties with its partners through joint emergency management training in Linn County and offers citizens classes on how to prepare and act in the event of a disaster. Recently those holding emergency management jobs in Linn County were put to the test in several severe weather incidents.


Roadmap for Future Careers in Emergency Management

Emergency management specialists can play a variety of roles during a catastrophic event and can therefore qualify for employment through a number of certifications and degrees. Linn County offers several emergency management degree and certification programs including:

  • Emergency and Disaster Management Bachelor of Arts Degree Program
  • Emergency and Disaster Management Certification

Iowa state programs for emergency management coordinators include:

  • Iowa Responder Training
  • Iowa Department of Public Health, Prepare Iowa Program
  • Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division courses:
    • Disaster Preparedness
    • Disaster Health
    • National Security Technology

Additional two- and four-year associate’s and bachelor’s programs that are relevant to emergency management specialists include these fields of study:

  • Geography
  • Meteorology
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Urban Planning
  • Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness and Response

When Disaster Strikes

In the early summer months of 2013 Linn County emergency management coordinators faced a daunting storm system that brought high winds, rain that caused flooding, and tornadoes. However because they were monitoring local weather reports they had some prior warning and were able to start emergency procedures rolling. Public information officers alerted local media, emergency sirens were sounded, shelter staff prepared for incoming displaced persons, and first responders were put on alert. Emergency management coordinators monitored the storm from a secure location, and as soon as it was safe damage assessors were out identifying areas hit by tornadoes and flooding, dispatching law enforcement and medical services, and relaying information to emergency management specialists who were coordinating the overall response.

The above scene is all too familiar for those holding emergency management careers in Linn County. Although managers practically have their response down to a science after having rehearsed and been active in so many disasters, improving technology, research, and new employees are always giving veterans new food for thought. Proven innovations make their way into the training process in an evolution that contributes to the overall improvement of disaster response. In an effort to increase public safety and awareness, the Linn County Emergency Management Agency offers courses, guides, and promotions for the benefit of its residents, including:

  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes that are designed to help attendees prepare for and respond to disasters and their aftermath
  • The 20 weeks to Preparedness guide
  • Active Shooter Awareness
  • School Safety Guide
  • Weather Radio Programming

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