As of July 2013, a massive fire near Reno spurred the U.S. Forest Service to refer to the disaster as the “top priority in the West.” But this isn’t the first time Reno and Washoe County have been affected by wildfires. Other recent wildfire events that have been named in fire management assistance declarations around Washoe County include:
- TRE Fire: May 2012
- Washoe Fire: January 2012
- Pinehaven Fire: November 2011
- Indian Creek Fire: October 2011
- Holbrook Fire: September 2011
The need for emergency management professionals in Washoe County who can prepare for and respond to wildfire emergencies cannot therefore not be undervalued or underestimated.
Emergency Management Career Requirements in Washoe County, Nevada
Emergency management jobs in Washoe County require individuals with a bachelor’s degree in public administration, emergency management or a related field from an accredited college or university.
Candidates for emergency management jobs must also possess at least 2 years of emergency management program experience, or an equivalent combination of training and experience.
Certification is often chosen by emergency management professionals seeking to further their career and broaden their professional scope of practice. Professional certification opportunities may include an Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) or Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) designation through the International Association of Emergency Managers or an Advanced Professional Series (APS) certificate or a Professional Development Series (PDS) Certificate through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Professional Training Opportunities for Emergency Management Professionals in Washoe County
Washoe County emergency management professionals take a number of training courses throughout the year so as to better serve the residents of Washoe County through comprehensive emergency management services and programs. Just a few of the courses available for emergency management professionals in Washoe County include:
- Advanced ICD Command and General Staff
- Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Counterterrorism Workshop
- Fundamentals of Search and Rescue
- Who’s in Charge Here? Exercise Leadership in Emergency or Disaster
National Incident Management System (NIMS) training courses, consistent with the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD 5), are also offered for emergency management professionals in Washoe County. Just a few of the NIMS courses offered include:
- Introduction to the Incident Command System
- Basic Incident Command System
- Basic Incident Command System: Train the Trainer
- Intermediate Incident Command System
- Advanced Incident Command System
- Multi-Agency Coordination
- ICS for Executives
- Multi-Agency Coordination System
- Public Assistance Operations I & II
- Preliminary Damage Assessment and Debris Management and Operations
Emergency Management Administrator Job Description
The Washoe County Emergency Management program serves as the coordinating agency for the county during a disaster. This includes safeguarding life and property, assessing an addressing the effects of the event, and using the Incident Command System as part of the NIMS during the response phase.
Emergency management administrators in Washoe County are tasked with planning, organizing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the Washoe County Emergency Management program as to protect people and property. This includes providing direction during natural or manmade disasters and emergency situations.
Emergency management administrators coordinate all activities of the Regional Emergency Operations Center, which includes coordinating the public agency staff within the Regional Emergency Operations Center.
These professionals also work to establish networks of public and private agencies as to improve mitigation, emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities.