Located in the southwestern part of Pennsylvania, Allegheny county is shielded from the tropical storms and hurricanes that have battered the Eastern coast of the state (Hurricane Sandy, Tropical Storm Lee, Hurricane Irene in the last two years,) but, the area is still prone to flooding and major snowstorms that hammer the area each and every winter. Per capita, the state of Pennsylvania is one of the largest employers of emergency management professionals in the nation.
The primary emergency management service provider, and therefore the primary emergency management employer, in the county is the Allegheny Emergency Services department. Allegheny Emergency Services dedicates its time to creating emergency plans for situations ranging from natural disasters to potential terrorist attacks. The primary goal is to mitigate the effects of any problem on the residents. The department works in coordination with state agencies and organizations, non-profit groups, city agencies within Allegheny County, as well as with federal organizations and agencies.
There are also many private sector emergency management consulting firms and businesses located in Allegheny County, primarily in the city of Pittsburgh. MCM Consulting Group is located in Pittsburgh and specializes in emergency management consulting. Delta Development Group is another emergency management organization that helps cities and counties come up with solutions and ideas.
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Degrees, Training and Certification
For most emergency management jobs in Allegheny County, a degree, training, certification or a combination of all of them are required.
Degrees: Emergency management degrees in Allegheny County vary depending on which specialization a person is interested in. The most common emergency management degrees are the following:
- Masters of Science in Homeland Security- Terrorism, Mediation and Peace
- Masters of Public Administration- Homeland Security, Policy and Coordination
- Masters of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Executive Management
- Masters of Science in Homeland Security Policy
There are also bachelor’s and associate’s degree options for many of the subjects related to emergency management. The typical coursework for these degrees include classes in the following subjects:
- Infrastructure disaster recovery
- Security risk and assessment
- Incident response
- Security policies
- Mitigation planning
- Urban planning
- Critical incident stress management
- Emergency management practices and principles
- Social dimensions of disaster
- Emergency preparedness
Training and Certification: Many, but not all, emergency management positions in Allegheny County may require additional certification. This is especially true for highly-specialized jobs in the emergency management field. Emergency management training in Allegheny County is typically provided by the state-level organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association.
In order to receive a Pennsylvania Emergency Management Coordination certificate, a person must complete training courses in the following subjects:
- Primary duties and responsibilities of an Emergency Management professional
- Initial damage reporting
- ISC/EOC interface
- Multiple death response and coordination
- Hazardous weather and flooding preparedness