Emergency Management Careers in Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) is responsible for ensuring that the city’s emergency management programs and personnel are at maximum preparedness for a natural or man-made disaster. The OHSEM is also the coordinating agency for several programs that ensure public safety.

Among the most important of these is the Detroit Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS).  MMRS is a collaborative effort that enhances emergency response plans for mass casualty events. The OHSEM has developed this system with guidance and cooperation from metropolitan hospitals, medical leaders and health organizations.


How to Become an Emergency Management Professional in Detroit

As one of the largest cities in the Midwest, Detroit has a wide variety of employment opportunities for emergency management professionals.  The most common backgrounds required for these emergency management jobs in Detroit, Michigan include business administration, engineering, information technology, public health administration, or homeland security.  Although the exact requirements are contingent upon employer needs, it is common for these organizations to seek candidates with qualifications like

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in
    • Emergency management
    • Terrorism studies
    • Public health administration
    • Business continuity planning
    • Engineering
  • Three or more years of experience in disaster preparedness, emergency management, or homeland security
  • Familiarity with the National Incident Management System, National Response Framework and Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with federal and state officials, private sector professionals, and volunteer or non-profit personnel
  • Accreditation as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

The Michigan Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MEMHSD) offers a number of important certification and training programs.  In addition to conducting regular training simulations based on federal disaster models, the MEMHSD also offers the Professional Emergency Manager (PEM).  Furthermore, MEMHSD also sponsors a variety of courses for emergency management professionals in Detroit, Michigan including:

  • Confined space rescue
  • CBRNE awareness level
  • Advanced HazMat IQ
  • First receiver training for health care professionals
  • Hazardous Waste Operations for site supervisors

The federal Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is a nationally recognized developer and distributor of EM courses including:

  • Disaster logistics
  • Emergency planning
  • Fundamentals of emergency management
  • Developing and managing volunteers
  • Introduction to exercises
  • Leadership and influence

Major Emergencies that Occurred in Detroit

In 2010 a series of fires swept through Detroit.  A combination of dry weather and gusting winds clocked at more than 50 mph downed more than 62 power lines.  This combination of fire hazards contributed to more than 85 fires across the city and necessitated calling up firefighting personnel from surrounding suburbs.

Detroit was the location for a massive tornado outbreak in 1997 that killed seven people.  The outbreak was comprised of 13 tornadoes that struck northern Detroit.  The twisters ranged in strength from category F0 up to F3.  The estimated damage from this largest outbreak in Michigan history was more than $135 million.

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