Cascade County Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) was designed to coordinate efforts of all response agencies and departments when dealing with natural or manmade disasters. In addition to working with state and regional agencies, DES works closely with such local agencies as the County Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the Rural Volunteer Fire Districts, and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) of all nearby towns.
According to Cascade County’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan (PDM), residents of Cascade County have dealt with floods, severe summer storms, harsh winter storms and blizzards, wildfires, and hazardous materials incidents.
The PDM helps to guide and focus all hazard mitigation activities in Cascade County by identifying potential hazards and projects and programs that can reduce the impact of those hazards. The purpose of the PDM is to protect residents, the environment, and property, including infrastructure, private property, and critical facilities from both natural and manmade disasters.
How to Achieve a Career in Emergency Management in Cascade County
Individuals interested in pursuing jobs in emergency management in Cascade County may find that a number of local agencies and private firms demand individuals with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and at least 3 years of experience in emergency management, planning, practices and development, although individuals with a combination of experience and education may qualify for these positions.
Further, individuals applying for emergency management jobs should have knowledge of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and of emergency management coordination between all agencies and at all levels of government.
Certification through either FEMA or IAEM may also be sought by employers seeking candidates with specific knowledge of emergency management systems. Professional certification in emergency management may include one of the following:
The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)
- Associate Emergency Manager (AEM)
- Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Advanced Professional Series (APS) certificate
- Professional Development Series (PDS) Certificate
Professional Training Opportunities in Cascade County
Montana’s Disaster and Emergency Services provides a myriad of training opportunities each year for emergency management professionals, many programs of which are located in Cascade County. Some of the most recent programs in emergency management offered in Cascade County include:
- EOC/IMT Interface Workshop
- Exercise Design & HSEEP Toolkit Training
- Basic CERT Training and CERT Course Training
Cascade County’s History of Disasters and Emergency Services
There were a total of 1,603 extreme weather events in Cascade County and the surrounding area between 1950 and 2010. Extreme weather incidences with the highest number of occurrences include: thunderstorm winds (459), hail (772), strong winds (133), heavy snow (68), blizzards (17), and wildfires (13).
Further, Cascade County, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, had a total of 653 wildfires in the past 10 years.