Located inland from the South Carolina coast, Richland County has a buffer against the most severe storms that batter the area- namely hurricanes and tropical storms. But, that does not mean Richland County does not experience emergency situations of its own. Throughout the year, Richland County is susceptible to severe storms that cause torrential rains in the area and cause flooding and other problems. During the summer, there are heat waves and fires that burn in the more rural areas of the county.
Emergency management services in Richland County range from city and county organizations and agencies to private consulting firms that work with the local government when formulating disaster preparedness plans and other aspects of emergency management.
Emergency Management Degrees in Richland County
The major metropolitan area of Columbia is home to numerous universities and community colleges that offer degrees in emergency management. Also, emergency management degrees in Richland County can be obtained through online schooling. Some of the most popular degrees offered in the Richland County area include the following:
- Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice- homeland security and emergency management
- Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice- homeland security technology
- Associate’s degree in business administration
- Associate’s degree in homeland security (online)
- Master’s degree in criminal justice- homeland security, terrorism, mitigation and peace (online)
- Master’s degree in leadership and executive management (online)
- PHD in business administration- homeland security leadership and policy
Emergency Management Certification and Training
While professional certification is not required for an emergency management career in Richland County, those with certification are given preference during the hiring process. Emergency management certification is awarded by the South Carolina Emergency Management Program, which is designed to provide people with extensive knowledge of emergency management policies and procedures in the state. The training focuses on both natural disasters (like hurricanes, flooding and tropical storms) and on manmade disasters (such as terrorist attacks, hazardous material spills, forest fires and accidents that may pose an emergency threat to the greater public.)
Richland County’s Emergency Management Employers
The largest employer of emergency management professionals in the county is the Richland County Emergency Service department. The organization works with the cities in the county in order to ensure that all officials are up to date on emergency preparedness procedures- including evacuation plans, disaster mitigation among many other aspects. The Richland County Emergency department includes professionals in the sectors of Emergency Medical Services (EMS,) homeland security, disaster mitigation, hazardous materials and multiple federal, regional and state agencies. There are also private sector consulting firms that specialize in emergency preparedness and management, the most prominent of which is Gilbert Consulting Services, Inc, which is located in Columbia, South Carolina.