Montgomery County is the third most populated county in the state of Pennsylvania and because of its proximity to Harrisburg (which has the most emergency management professionals per capita in the entire US) there are jobs in both the government and private sectors where emergency management is concerned. The primary emergency concerns in the area involve severe weather, as the area experiences frigid snowstorms on a regular basis during the winter, and also experiences heat waves during the summer.
While located inland, Montgomery County still experienced the effects of Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene in 2011, and the effects of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, so there is a strong network of emergency management professionals in and around the county.
Most of the emergency management service providers and employers in Montgomery County operate on the county level. The county departments work with state, federal and city level organizations, as well as a few private sector consultants and firms that specialize in emergency management. On the county level there is the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Emergency Management. The county also has an organization called ReadyMontCo, which is a public outreach center during emergency situations- whether they natural or manmade disasters. All of these organizations provide emergency management jobs in Montgomery County.
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Emergency Management Degrees, Training and Certification
Degrees: There are numerous degrees and educational opportunities concerning emergency management in Montgomery County, including the following:
- Bachelor of Arts in Geography- Emergency Management concentration
- Associates Degree in Emergency Management
- Master of Science in Emergency Management
- Master of Science in Disaster Medicine and Management
- Graduate Minor in Civil Security and Disaster Management
The degrees can be obtained through universities and community colleges in the area, as well as through online colleges and schools.
Training: Emergency management training focuses on the basic skills needed in order to perform the duties of an emergency management supervisor, consultant or other similar jobs in the field. The training focuses on leadership and general management skills, security and infrastructure policies and practices, search and rescue techniques, the basic principles of emergency management and many other skills.
Certification: Emergency management certification in Montgomery County is done through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association. State law requires that all emergency management coordinators have at least two levels of certification before being employed by a state, county or city department. The certifications are achieved through the completion of training courses in a variety of areas, including, but not limited to, the following courses:
- The Duties and Responsibilities of an Emergency Management Coordinator
- The Work Environment of an Emergency Management Coordinator
- Initial Damage Reporting Course
- ISC/ EOC Interface Course
- Multiple Death Response and Coordination Course
- Hazardous Weather and Flooding Preparedness Course