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Get Involved in Emergency Management

Health and Safety classroom.

Interested in the field of emergency management? Emergency Management is a unique discipline within the public safety family. It deals very little with the tactics of life safety, and far more with the coordination of complex situations. Emergency managers are generally adept at wrapping their arms around fast-paced, dynamic situations while maintaining a calm and outcome-focused demeanor. Effective EMs also have to be comfortable in delegating, developing creative solutions, promoting collaboration, diffusing conflicts and keeping the big picture in mind.

Emergency Management as a practitioner discipline came to the forefront in 1979 when the Carter administration created FEMA. Emergency Management as an academic discipline took shape after the 2001 terrorist attacks. As the industry continues to define itself, a wide range of opportunities exist to join organizations, receive formal training and obtain certifications and degrees.

This page includes resources to help you get involved (especially locally) and find opportunities to grow in this discipline.


Getting Involved

  • CERT (future)
  • McLean County EMA - McLean County EMA manages 3 volunteer teams (Operations, Ground Search & Rescue and K9 Search & Rescue) and is always looking for interested new members


  • FEMA Independent Study - Hundreds of on-line, self-paced courses in the field of emergency management
  • IEMA classroom training - Dozens of classroom-only courses; several are held every year in Bloomington-Normal
  • IFSI classroom training - The Illinois Fire Service Institute conducts many command-level courses. Scroll down until you find "Homeland Security"


Conferences & Professional Development

EM Higher Education

EM Employment

GIS in Emergency Management

  • IS-922: Applications of GIS in Emergency Management - Free, on-line course that provides an overview of how GIS can support emergency management
  • IS-103: GIS Specialist - Free on-line course that provides an introduction into GIS usage during disasters
  • E0190: ArcGIS for Emergency Managers - Free, 3-day in-residence course at the Emergency Management Institute covering how to use both ArcGIS and HAZUS-MH