The Relationship Between Emergency Management and Higher Education Essay

The Relationship Between Emergency Management and Higher Education Essay

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Emergency management has been in the process of transforming itself into a recognized profession over the past several decades. During the last quarter of the 20th century, training and experience in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters and hazardous incidents were considered the path to becoming an emergency manager; the title was not always there but the responsibilities were shouldered by someone who took responsibility for those functions. Since the late 1990’s, the field of emergency management has expanded to include programs of higher education which have added a much needed third dimension to that progression. What was once considered the domain of civil protection specialists, such as retired military personnel and fire fighters, is now just as likely to be filled by a graduate of a university emergency management (EM) program or one of the intensive credentialing programs offered in the United States.
The shift towards the professionalization of emergency management can be credited to that added educational dimension as well as to the concurrent shift from primarily a reactive role, response and recovery, to a proactive role of managing the processes of the whole disaster cycle, i.e. mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. In other words, the emphasis is now on “management” and not just on the “emergency” (Britton, 2001, p.46).
By addressing the management of the disaster cycle and not focusing on just the emergency, the realm of the emergency manager has expanded to include a diverse yet connected set of skills and knowledge. Implementation of successful mitigations projects for example, require a scientifically sound hazard and vulnerability analysis which should be based on applica...

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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (2007). Principles of Emergency Management Supplement. Accessed at
FEMA Emergency Management Institute. (2012). The College List. Accessed at
Goss, K. (2011). Foundation for Higher Education Accreditation in Emergency Management. History and Benefits. Accessed at
Schneider, R.O. (2003). A Strategic overview of the “New” Emergency Manager. Accessed on
4/26/2012 at

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