Emergency Management Careers in Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma’s Emergency Management Division, operated by the city’s fire department, is in charge of planning for city-wide disaster scenarios and implementing these when crises strike. Whether it be an earthquake, volcanic eruption, pandemic or flood, local businesses and residents are prepared to act under the leadership of the Division thanks to training and preparation. Those employed in emergency management careers and related fields serve as a vital bridge between government organizations and the citizens of Tacoma, making successful emergency response and mitigation possible.

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Emergency Management Degree and Training Options

Many job descriptions also state a preference for candidates from an educational background that includes an emergency management degree at the associate or bachelor level. These are available at a number of local and on-line educational institutions in the Tacoma area. An associate degree in emergency management includes foundational classes in the field such as:

  • Fundamentals of emergency management
  • EM history and theory
  • Jurisdictional and legal issues

Job candidates with a bachelor’s degree in emergency management will have additional specialization in an area within the field such as:

  • Resource management and logistics
  • Networks and communication
  • Search and rescue
  • Debris management
  • Disaster engineering
  • Response coordination and the chain-of-command

Skilled candidates from fields involved with the emergency management process are also vital for an effective response and preparation. These areas of specialization are varied and include educational backgrounds such as:

  • Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Epidemiology
  • Nursing
  • Business Management
  • Psychology and Sociology

Emergency Management in Tacoma

The range of activities of the Tacoma EM Division means an equally broad range of emergency management jobs in Tacoma. Instructors are needed for community team lessons, coordinators organize emergency management training operations, and liaisons must stay informed of partner agency developments.

Training for Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) is offered on-location at the Fire Training Center in areas including:

  • Utility Safety
  • Medical Operations
  • Light Search and Rescue
  • Fire Safety
  • Wilderness First Aid training
  • Emergency Medical Technician courses

The Division organizes joint emergency management training exercises involving:

  • Tacoma Police Department
  • Pierce County Department of Emergency Management
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency

The EM Division also maintains partnerships with key locally-based regional and national forecasting agencies, including:

  • National Weather Service’s Seattle Office
  • Regional Public Information Network
  • Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
  • United States Geological Survey
  • Cascades Volcano Observatory

Careers in Emergency Management

From contingency development and training to response, emergency management careers in Tacoma are based in any number of educational backgrounds. Many positions require basic emergency management certification and training courses that are available through agencies such as the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, and include:

  • All Hazard Emergency Response for Schools
  • Emergency Planning for Vulnerable Populations
  • Shelter Summit Seminars
  • Regional Catastrophic Planning
  • Incident Command System
  • Emergency Operations Centers
  • Disaster Response and Recovery

In recent history Tacoma has experienced earthquakes, tsunami-induced high-tide warnings, nuclear radiation from the Fukushima power plant in Japan, environmental contamination from smelting, flooding and severe weather storms.

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