With the thoughts of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 still fresh on the minds of Ohioans, the need for emergency management specialists who can deal with emergency declarations throughout the Buckeye State has taken on a new level of significance.
And it’s certainly not the only time in the last few years that Ohio has been affected by natural disasters. Severe storms and straight-line winds in July 2012, severe storms and flooding in April 2011, and severe wind storms associated with Tropical Depression Ike in September 2008 have all resulted in disaster declarations in Ohio. It’s no surprise, therefore, that higher education programs abound in Ohio for those with careers aspirations in emergency management.
Management Degrees Available in Ohio
Ohio is home to a number of emergency management programs, ranging from associate’s degrees to master’s programs. Just a few of the offerings for emergency management degrees in Ohio include:
- Associate’s degree in Emergency Planning and Administration
- Bachelor of arts in Emergency Management
- Masters in Environmental Safety and Health Management with an emphasis in Emergency and Disaster
- Bachelor of arts in Disaster Management and Relief
Common core coursework within the above programs includes:
- Principles of Emergency Management
- Emergency Management Research Methods
- Introduction to Terrorism
- Emergency Response Preparation and Planning
- Hazard Processes for Emergency Management
- Hazard Prevention and Mitigation
- Disaster Relief and Recovery
Further, there are a few “step up” bachelor degree programs in emergency management. In these programs, students first earn an associate’s degree in a related field, such as public safety and security, criminal justice technology, or emergency medical services technology and then apply their associate’s degree toward a bachelor’s degree in emergency management.
Emergency Management Certification and Training
Individuals seeking emergency management careers in Ohio may obtain certification as an Ohio Certified Emergency Manager (OCEM) through the Emergency Management Association of Ohio.
Candidates for OCEM certification must be able to show evidence of possessing one of the following:
- Three years of full-time experience in Ohio emergency management; OR
- Two years of full-time experience in Ohio emergency management and an associate’s degree from an accredited institution; OR
- One year of full-time experience in Ohio emergency management and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; OR
- One year full-time experience in Ohio emergency management and a master’s degree from an accredited institution
Further, candidates must be able to show proof of participating in at least 2 full-scale or functional exercises or participation in at least 2 actual disasters or emergencies.
All candidates for emergency management certification must write an essay and return it, along with evidence of the above experience/education and completed application, to qualify for OCEM certification.
State and Private Emergency Management Companies/Organizations
Candidates seeking Ohio emergency management careers may find an abundance of opportunities in both the public and private sectors:
Ohio Emergency Management Agency – This state organization coordinates activities associated with disasters, both natural and manmade. In addition to disaster response and recovery, the Ohio EMA is involved in the education, planning, training, and preparedness of Ohio’s first responders.
Emergency Services Consultants LLC – This Toledo-based company provides EMS and firefighting experts for consultation to local governments, law firms, industry, and business.
Arcadius – Arcadius is a global design, consultancy, engineering, and management firms focused on the fields of infrastructure, environment, water, and buildings. Arcadius has offices in Toledo and Columbus.
Integrated Environmental Management, Inc. – IEM, which provides strategic consulting and services in both radiation and radioactivity, has Ohio offices in Findlay and Shaker Heights.