In a state known for having a large number of natural disasters, Fremont County is considered to be at medium risk when compared to other counties in Wyoming. Within a sixty-year period, over 500 severe weather events were recorded within fifty miles of Fremont County.
The county relies on emergency management specialists to help plan for and mitigate the damage caused by natural disasters and to marshal resources when disasters strike. Wyoming has one of the highest concentrations of emergency management specialists in the country, and employment in this field is projected to grow eleven percent in the state overall.
The mean annual salary of emergency management specialists in Wyoming is $50,100. Professionals with experience in this field average $72,610. The Fremont County Emergency Management Agency is one of the key employers of emergency management specialists in the county.
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Requirements for an Emergency Management Career in Fremont County
Emergency management jobs in Fremont County generally require at least an associate’s degree. Additional requirements include having a driver’s license that is valid in Wyoming and being able to travel wherever disaster strikes.
Residents that seek to have emergency management careers in Fremont County can obtain college degrees in the field by attending one of the Wyoming schools that offers an associate’s degree or certification in emergency management. Another source of emergency management degrees can be found through the online schools that offer training in this field.
A variety of courses are offered to train emergency management specialists. They include:
- Incident Command Systems
As part of a national emphasis on the certification of emergency management professionals, Wyoming offers training from the Wyoming Homeland Security Training Program. The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security and the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy operate this program jointly.
Training runs the gamut from identifying potential terrorist activities to managing critical incidents. Since communications are so vital during emergencies, the training emphasizes this aspect of emergency management.
Natural Disasters in Fremont County
Fremont County is susceptible to a variety of different types of natural disasters. Efforts to plan for such disasters are complicated by the variation in weather conditions between different communities. The altitudes of cities can vary by nearly 3,000 feet.
Flooding – The county has a long history of flooding that has resulted in major property damage and the loss of three lives. A damaging flood occurs approximately every four years in Fremont County. Flash floods can occur throughout the county, and river flooding is highly likely to occur in Lander, Riverton, Dubois, and Hudson. Fremont County has also had a tremendous number of ice jams compared to the other counties in Wyoming.
The June 2010 flood affected 32 square miles and is estimated to have caused $2 million in structural damage, resulting in a Presidential disaster declaration. Rising water from the Big Wind River in 2011 forced the closure of Highway 26 and caused structural damage to the route.
Hail – Over a 74 year period, there were 24 instances of damaging hail occurring in Fremont County that were estimated to have caused $8 million in damage in 2010 dollars. The combination of hail and rain was bad enough to cause the roof of a nursing home in Lander to collapse in 2001.
Wildland Fire – Fremont County is ranked as one of the top ten counties in Wyoming at risk for damage from wildland fires. Lander, Dubois, and Riverton are considered to be at particular risk from such fires.
Earthquakes – Since Fremont County averages a damaging earthquake every fourteen years, it is likely that there will a damaging earthquake in the future. If a large earthquake strikes the county, it could cause over $111 million in damage. It is feared that lives would be lost in the case of such a catastrophic event.