Although Oregon is located in the picturesque Pacific Northwest, this state, with its location along the Pacific Coast, makes it prone to a variety of natural calamities, such as the winter storm flooding, landslides, and mudslides of January 2012, the tsunami wave surge of March 2011, and the severe winter storm of January 2011, which brought about flooding, landslides, mudslides, and debris flows.
The need for highly trained emergency management specialists, therefore, remains quite high in Oregon, and the salaries of these professionals reflect this. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in May 2009, Oregon had the fifth highest mean annual wage in the nation for emergency management specialists, at $66,760 per year, compared to a national average of $52,590 a year.
Emergency Management Degrees in Oregon
Emergency management careers in Oregon may begin in a number of ways, with individuals obtaining education through everything from emergency management certificates from community colleges to master’s degrees from universities. Although there is no one, correct path to a career in emergency management, many individuals choose a two- or four-year degree from an accredited college or university as to best facilitate the growth of their careers.
In Oregon, emergency management degrees include:
- Associate of applied science degree in Emergency Management
- Bachelor of science degree in Emergency Management
Common coursework in emergency management programs includes:
- Emergency Planning
- Principles of Emergency Management
- Critical Decision Making
- Leadership/Influence and Decision Making/Problem Solving
- Incident Command System
- Emergency Operations Center
- Resource Management
- Developing Volunteer Resources
- Planning for Terrorism Events
- Response to Mass Fatalities
- Disaster Exercises
- Mitigation Planning
Professional Recognition through Training and Certification
The Oregon Certified Emergency Management Program (ORCEMS), which provides professional certification to emergency management professionals, is a cooperative development between the Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) and the Oregon Emergency Management Association (OEMA).
Certification as an Oregon certified emergency management specialist (ORCEMS) requires proof of specific experience and training, including:
- Work history
- Participation in a full-scale exercise or actual disaster experience
- Professional recommendation and two letters of reference
- GED, high school diploma, or college degree
- At least 50 hours of emergency management training
- At least 50 hours of general management training
- At least 4 contributions to the profession (may include: volunteer service, chairman or leadership position on a board of directors, special assignment on an emergency management committee or task force, presentation or panel participation related to emergency management, teaching or instructing commitment, published material, speaking engagements, or a role as a full partner in a disaster/emergency management course)
Further, all candidates for emergency management certification must complete a management essay and submit a biography.
Emergency Management Service Providers
Emergency management specialists in Oregon may find professional opportunities in both the public and private sectors:
Oregon Office of Emergency Management
The Oregon Office of Emergency management maintains an emergency services system and plans, prepares, and provides assistance for the prevention, mitigation, and management of emergencies in the State of Oregon. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management also coordinates and facilitates emergency planning and response and recovery activities among Oregon’s state and local emergency services organizations.
GFP Emergency Services
GFP Emergency Services is a logistics company that focuses on remote base camps and facilities management. GFP, which has more than 450 employees, including operations and logistics professionals, focuses on swift response in such areas as catastrophe management, wildland firefighting, and base camp deployment.
GFP has offices and facilities throughout the Northwest and Southeast, including Oregon.
Morrison Hershfield, through its Emergency Management Consulting division in Portland, Oregon, assists clients by helping them develop an integration emergency protection and
response plan. Services provided involve prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and recovery for commercial, municipal, and industrial clients.
Emergency Services Consulting International
Emergency Services Consulting International, which has a Northwest Regional office in Wilsonville, Oregon, is an international company that provides consulting services for police, communications, fire, and EMS organizations.