The Lexington Division of Emergency Management (DEM) is responsible for natural and technological hazard mitigation and response. The DEM oversees an array of programs designed to protect the public including the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). CERT is a nation-wide program that trains members of the general public to survive and assist others in survival following a major disaster. CERT training consists of 24 hours of training on a variety of key topics like search and rescue, fire suppression, team organization, medical operations and disaster preparedness.
The DEM is also responsible for developing response strategies for a release of toxic chemicals from the local Blue Grass Army Depot. DEM has generated a Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program which has a detailed plan for evacuating residents of Lexington. In the case when lethal chemicals may be released into the area, residents will be alerted to evacuate to designated shelters in the community.
How to Become an Emergency Management Specialist in Lexington
Emergency management jobs in Lexington, Kentucky are often held by professionals who have experience in meteorology, engineering, architecture, information technology or law enforcement. The majority of these jobs may be available to candidates who possess qualifications similar to the following:
- A bachelor’s or master’s degree in
- Emergency planning
- Homeland security
- Public policy
- Business administration
- Three or more years of experience in emergency management, homeland security or disaster preparedness
- Knowledge of major EM programs like the National Incident Management System or National Response Framework
- Ability to design and implement emergency management training exercises or programs
- Certification as a Certified Emergency Manager
The Division of Emergency Management has partnered with the University of Kentucky’s Terrorism Response and Preparedness department to offer a variety of courses including
- Agroterrorism Awareness
- Biosecurity and Physical Security for Veterinarian Professionssals
- Animal Emergency Management Principles for Veterinarian Professionals
- County Agricultural Response Team
Kentucky Emergency Management is a state agency that sponsors a variety of independently developed and FEMA designed courses for emergency management professionals in the Lexington area. These include:
- Hazmat Technician
- Intermediate Search and Rescue
- Basic Emergency Operations Center Management and Operations
- Moving Water Rescue Technician
- Local Donations and Volunteer Management
The KYEMA also conducts training exercises regularly for EM professionals from public, private and non-profit groups around the state.
Disasters to Impact Lexington, Kentucky
On August 27, 2006, Comair Flight 5191 failed to clear the runway while attempting takeoff. After overshooting the end of the runway, the jet crashed, killing all 47 passengers and two crew members. The only survivor was the first officer. It was later determined that the crash was attributable to pilot error.
On March 10, 1986, Lexington was struck by a F2 category tornado that had winds from 100 to 200 mph. The twister injured almost 20 people and caused almost $50 million in damage. More than 845 homes were damaged or destroyed.