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Emergency Management Careers in Knox County, Tennessee

In Knox County, emergency management services are administered by a partnership with Knoxville and Knox County, designated as the Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency (KEMA).  KEMA provides a number of critical services including the development and implementation of operations plans for city and county government continuity during a disaster. KEMA also provides training to agencies, public health officials and other groups on how to respond to terrorist incidents involving Weapons of Mass Destruction.

KEMA has a staff on duty 24 hours a day that monitors events throughout the county.  If an event like a hazardous material spill, train derailment or severe storm should occur, the duty officer would alert KEMA coordinators who would activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  From the EOC, emergency managers can notify personnel at police, fire or EMS agencies as well as public officials.  If the situation necessitates it, the KEMA coordinator may contact state or federal agencies to request additional resources.


How to Become an Emergency Management Professional in Knox County, Tennessee

Due to the presence of a major metropolitan center, there are numerous emergency management jobs in Knox County, Tennessee.  Professionals who have expertise in meteorology, engineering, public health, urban planning and business continuity planning may find jobs as emergency managers if they have qualifications similar to these:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree (or master’s degree) in
    • Homeland security
    • Engineering
    • Information technology
    • Public health
    • Emergency planning
    • Meteorology
  • Prior experience in designing, testing and implementing emergency management programs
  • Experience supervising EM personnel or volunteers
  • Ability to train others
  • Knowledge of the National Incident Management System, National Response Framework and Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
  • Experience conducting training exercises based on federal templates
  • Ability to work with private and public organization personnel

Emergency Management Training and Certification Options

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) provides many of the emergency management courses in Knox County.  These include:

  • TEMA Hazardous Materials Awareness Level Course
  • TEMA Hazardous Materials Operations Level Course
  • Hazardous Materials Team Operations Course
  • MERRTT: Modular Emergency Response Radiological Transportation Training
  • Radiation Response Training Levels
  • Search and Rescue Operations
  • Public information Officer Training and Joint Information Systems

The federal Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is also a provider of emergency management classes in Knox County, Tennessee.  In addition to the following training modules, the EMI also offers accreditation through programs like the Professional Development Series:

  • Citizen’s Guide to Disaster Assistance
  • State Disaster Management
  • Introduction to Individual Assistance
  • Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning

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