Middlesex is not only the most populated county in Massachusetts but also the most populous county in all of New England. Its geographic position gives it a greater chance of experiencing tornadoes than the other commonwealth counties. In the past few decades, Middlesex County had 37 tornadoes of a magnitude of two or more, almost a thousand floods, 18 ice storms and hundreds of heavy snow events.
Lowell, the biggest city in Middlesex County, is in northern Middlesex where the Council of Government has published a pre-disaster mitigation plan that identifies ways to lessen the loss of life and property as a result of floods, tornadoes, fire, landslides, heavy winds (Nor’easterns), and ice storms.
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How to Become an Emergency Management Specialist in Middlesex County
Candidates for the job of emergency management specialist are required to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in emergency management or a degree in a related field, like public administration, and a certificate in emergency management (offered by many on-site and online schools).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers online courses for obtaining National Incident Management System certification. Courses include such subjects as:
- Overview of Emergency Management
- Incident Management
- Operational Logistics
- Disaster Communications
- Radiological Emergencies
- Hazardous Materials
- Animals in a Disaster
How to Apply for an Emergency Management Job in Middlesex County
All jobs with the county of Middlesex are listed online at the county’s “Worklooker” website. Online applications are offered for open positions. Persons interested in employment with the Cambridge EPAC division should contact Fire Headquarters, 491 Broadway, Cambridge MA 02138.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary for emergency management specialists in Massachusetts is $67,230. Massachusetts is said to be one of the three U, S. states with the highest salaries for emergency management professionals.
Emergency Management in the City of Cambridge
Emergency Planning and Coordination (EPAC) is a division of the Cambridge Fire Department. Headed by Assistant Chief Gerard E. Mahoney, EPAC is dedicated to ensuring that the people and property of Cambridge are prepared for natural or manmade disasters. Functions of EPAC include the following components:
- Cambridge Alert Network is a notification system that alerts Cambridge residents of approaching hurricanes, tornadoes, severe winter storms, etc. Messages are transmitted via land and cell phones, e-mails and text messages.
- Corporate Emergency Access System is intended to keep Cambridge businesses operational during or soon after a disaster by implementing the Corporate Emergency Assessment System (CEAS). A partnership between Cambridge emergency resources and the business network, CEAS focuses on maintaining core information technology systems, preserving laboratory processes and securing critical data.
- Shelter-in-Place is a program that educates Cambridge residents on how to safely secure their homes or businesses in a chemical emergency.
Duties of an Emergency Management Specialist in Middlesex County
The responsibilities of an emergency management specialist include:
- Developing and implementing plans/strategies for preventing, mitigating, responding to and recovering from all kinds of natural and manmade disasters.
- Training first responders and volunteers.
- Coordinating emergency response with federal, state and local agencies.
- Educating the public about emergency preparedness.