The Emergency Management Institute, Training the Worlds Emergency Managers

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Kelly Garrett:      This Past year was the first year that we conducted this selection academies for both the advanced and executive academies at the same time and there was a couple of reasons that we did that. The first was that we wanted to have consistency and how we were evaluating and ranking the student applications, if we’ve discovered in previous years when we use separate evaluation panels that we were getting a lot of variation in how the applications are being viewed. So we found a combining the panel makes it a lot more consistent. The second advantage is if a student is applying for the advanced academy, but selection panel feels that they’re probably better qualified and suited for the executive academy. They can automatically refer that application to the executive academy panel.


Todd DeVoe:      Hi and welcome to EM Weekly, and this is your host Todd DeVoe and this week we are talking to Dr Kelly Garrett, the director of the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. And we’re talking about FEMA’s emergency management academies, the basic, the advanced and the executive academies. And if you haven’t heard about these, they’re, they’re excellent opportunity to learn about the craft of emergency management. You get to interact with fellow emergency managers that are learning as well and you get to add to the body of work, of emergency management at the end of your class. So, I think these academies are great. We’ll let Dr. Garrett get more into it, but we have the basic academy. You had the advanced academy and the Executive Academy and they are what they are. They sound exactly what they’re supposed to be. You get to apply for them. It’s a kind of a competitive to get in and once you get into the academies, it’s a great learning experience and you get to meet people from all over the United States in the world for that matter that have gone through these academies.

               So, I am a proponent of these academies. I am going to be attending the Executive Academy here this year, 2019. And so I’m super excited about the academies as you can tell. Emergency management leadership, it’s an important part of growing our profession. And like I always say, I want to make our profession even more professional. So, speaking about leadership, put on your calendars, the Emergency Management Leaders Conference this May, it’s from the 29th and 30th. It’s in Phoenix, Arizona. And if you’ve never been to Phoenix, Arizona May is the perfect time of year to go because man in the summertime it gets hot and I’m talking like hot, hot, hot in Arizona. You know, the Sun Devils are called The Sun Devils for a reason. And so yeah, come in May. It’s beautiful weather. You can’t, you can’t beat it. You get to see the beautiful desert. Sunsets in the desert are wonderful. And, and you can enjoy the rich environment of learning that will be going on with the leaders conference this May. I’m excited about the conference because EM Weekly is super involved this year, and we’ll, we’ll keep announcing this as it comes along, what we’re going to be doing, some of the exciting stuff that’s coming up, but I’m just stoked to be, to be part of this. And I hope to see you guys there now onto the interview.

               So, I am so excited to have Kelly Garrett here with me today and, Kelly, welcome to EM Weekly.

Kelly Garrett:      Well thank you Todd. It’s a pleasure to be on with you this morning.

Todd DeVoe:      So, Kelly, you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in emergency management and how you got to where you are today?

Kelly Garrett:      I originally was introduced emergency management during my military career in the defense support of civil authorities missions that we had and I found it was very intriguing to be a part of helping the communities respond and recover from disasters, but it didn’t really get involved in emergency management profession until I came here to the Emergency Management Institute as the director of the emergency management professional program. And I came on board because my background is in learning and development, particularly in leadership development and my doctoral studies focused on, performing as a chief learning officer and organizations in developing curriculum and professional development programs for large organizations. So I jumped at the opportunity to come here to EMI, to take over the programs because I thought it was a great opportunity to combine a way to serve again, the communities and help the nation recover and prepare for disasters, but also follow on my first love of learning and development.

Todd DeVoe:      That’s awesome. And so, with EMI and one of the things that I think that most of us in emergency management, I would say all of us, but I can’t always say all. I’m a really excited about some of the professional development stuff that’s coming out and especially with like the, the core academies that are here, the advanced academy and of course the executive academy that you guys are putting on along with all the rest of the traditional training that you guys are doing and the IS courses. How do you see the education training of emergency managers to help professionalize our profession?

Kelly Garrett:      That’s a great question, Todd. And I think that’s been the goal and was the driving factor behind establishing the academies in the first place? The Basic Academy was founded in 2011 as the foundation’s academy. And it really focused on the foundations of emergency management and was designed for those who are new to the profession or have less than three years in emergency management and has evolved now to the five courses that comprise the entire basic academy. It’s 152 hours of classroom content and does focus on the grounded level professional development experience for emergency managers.

As I mentioned, the basic academy is designed for those new to the profession, but about 40 percent of our students that enrolled the basic academy have more than three years of experience and some of them are fairly seasoned professionals and they use the academy as a means to continue their professional development education to get exposure to some, new tactics and techniques in the contemporary emergency management environment. And to learn from our instructors and also to help with the whole community development of emergency management, which is so important to preparing for and responding to disasters

               the Advanced Academy was started in 2013 and is designed for mid-career professionals or those who may be independent operators in a, in a state, local tribal or territorial emergency management shop. And we focus on preparing those folks to manage and lead programs and to serve as members of teams and to lead teams and it’s four weeks, 160 hours of face to face education spread out over the course of 12 months. And then of course the Executive Academy is the senior level executive level academy that’s 128 hours long and it’s really focused on senior level emergency managers where we really focused on examining the policy and doctrine and why we do things the way we do in emergency management and what we might be able to do to help shape emergency management for the contemporary environment. As we go forward. All of the students in the Executive Academy group together to complete a group, a team capstone project, which is really focused on one of the strategic challenges that are faced by emergency managers based on the famous strategic plan and we’ve really had a great deal of success and coming up with some unique and innovative suggestions on how we can improve the profession through those projects.

Todd DeVoe:      I’ve heard from a few people I’ve spoken to have gone through a couple of the, advanced academy, different people and they do enjoy the process and then also the connections that they’re making. I don’t know what the Advanced Academy, at least from my experience, from talking to people, they’ve been not just back at EMI but they’ve been across the nation. So I know somebody who went to the Burbank cohort here in Los Angeles area and a couple of people that are going to be starting in the Riverside program. What’s the difference in how you put together, say the advanced academy where you don’t have it back east for us it is back east I guess so you don’t have at EMI. Were you having around how does, how does that work and how do you guys put that program on?

Kelly Garrett:      That is another great question Todd. The Advanced Academy is unique in that we piloted the field delivery concept two years ago and we really started with two pilot deliveries, one in the state of Florida and the other in Virginia just to make certain that we could feel the concept and be consistent in terms of the delivery of the curriculum and that we were consistent with the instructors and how they approached delivering the program too. What would be more of a state or a regional audience. And that’s one of the concerns that we heard from students and moving away from only doing courses on EMI is that there wouldn’t be the whole community approach with attracting students from across the nation that it might be more secularized, for lack of a better term because it was in a state or a particular region. But what we’ve found is that, for the field deliveries.

               And last year we had two in the state of California hosted by FEMA region nine. We have one every year and FEMA region four. And each of the states in region four take turns now supporting that and we also had another delivery in the state of Virginia. It was the second time around. So we’ve grown from piloting two field deliveries to, four across the country. And what we found is there’s great value in those fields deliveries because those are the folks that are going to work with each other very closely and will be the initial emergency managers on the ground if they are called to respond to disaster. So, while it’s great to get the heterogeneous cohort of a national audience here at EMI, it’s just as valuable to build a whole community with the folks that are going to be working with each other and immediate response to disaster. And we’ll be there to set up the emergency operation center and determine what needs to be done to respond to disaster. And we found that they develop really strong working relationships and really strong personal relationships during blue sky operations, which is an even greater advantage by the time any emergency comes around.

Todd DeVoe:      It is always Good to meet people during blue sky times and to be able to meet those that you can be working on next to during disaster for sure. So there’s a selection process that goes on getting into a program. So can you talk me through, you know, the person who decides, okay, I want to, I want to apply to get into one of the academies and what the, what the processes up to selection.

Kelly Garrett:      Sure, and the basic academy is still an open enrollment program so students can enroll in any one of the five courses to start, although we prefer that they start with the foundations course, but it’s open enrollment. So any student that can enroll in the basic academy courses and as long as they complete five of the academy courses, they’ll be able to graduate and received a certificate. But as you mentioned, the Advanced Academy and the Executive Academy are competitive. And I’ll talk first about the Advanced Academy application process with the two cohorts that we host here at EMI each year because they are a little different, although from the field deliveries, although that is still a competitive process. So for the advanced academies, we usually open the application window at the beginning of March of each year and runs through the first week in June, so we have about a 90 to 120 day application window and we run that concurrently with the application window for the Executive Academy as well.

               And then usually in the middle of June we have a selection panel made up primarily of our senior academy instructors that will review all of the students’ applications and they will look at things like the background in emergency management the types of training that each of the applicants has a conducted throughout their career. The depth and breadth of responsibilities and positions that they’ve held. Although that’s not to say that again, if somebody is the emergency manager for a county in Tennessee that they would be hindered because they’re in a one-person shop with a great deal of responsibility versus somebody that may be part of a 10 or 12-person office working in a larger state or in a major metropolitan area. We’re really interested in the level of responsibility that the emergency manager has in their daily operations and the type of experience they have in responding to and managing disasters.

               We also look to see if they graduated from any of the other academies because it is helpful. Well, it isn’t a prerequisite to have completed any of the other academies to apply for the advanced or executive academy. It certainly is helpful and we’ve seen the percentage of applicants increase over the past three years that are applying for the advanced or executive academy. So, we’re starting to see this continuing professional development, throughout the emergency management professional program that we envisioned when we started. This past year was the first year that we conducted the selection academies for both the advanced and executive academies at the same time. And there’s a couple of reasons that we did that. The first was that we wanted to have consistency in how we were evaluating and ranking the student applications. If we use, we’ve discovered in previous years when we use separate evaluation panels that we were getting a lot of variation in how the applications are being viewed, so we found a combining the panel makes it a lot more consistent.

               The second advantage is if a student is applying for the advanced academy, but selection panel feels that they’re probably better qualified and suited for the executive academy. They can automatically refer that application to the executive academy panel or likewise, if someone is applying to the executive academy, but it appears that they would be better suited to go to the advanced academy first. We can cross reference and refer those to that selection panel as well. And that happened a couple of times this year. We use a similar process with the field deliveries working through the FEMA regions or the states except there. Then the training staff and the FEMA region or the state training officer or state exercise director reviews the applications that has the final authority. Although we do share with them the process that we use with our selection panels here.

               And there have been sometimes based on the number of applicants that we’ve received for the, on campus deliveries that will refer someone to a regional or state cohort, simply because they’re competitive, but we only accept 90 students a year for the advanced academy here on campus. So, if we have some highly qualified candidates that may be slightly ranked below the 90 that we selected for the on campus, we can still get them into a field delivery. So again, we’re taking a holistic look of all of the applicants and making certain that we get the best qualified in any given year and to the appropriate course for them.

Todd DeVoe:      How many people apply each year for an academy spot?

Kelly Garrett:      That’s a great question as well. And, three years ago when I first got here, we had 65 applications for the two cohorts here on campus. And we had hoped to have a minimum of 35 students per cohort. So obviously with only 65 applications, everybody that applied got accepted. But we’ve more than doubled those applications each year. Two years ago we had 113 applications. Last year we had 130 and this year we ended up with 144 applicants for 90 slots in the advanced academy cohorts here at EMI. So it’s gotten much more competitive and we’ve got more than doubled the number of applicants that we had just three years ago. With the field deliveries we’ve gone from those two pilots, deliveries in Florida, Virginia that I talked about two years ago to now four field deliveries and I’m actually about, I’m about 70 percent of our graduates from the academy now come from this field deliveries. We had a 142 students graduate from four field deliveries last year and we had 91 students graduate on campus for a total of 233 graduates this past year, which was the largest number of we’ve ever experienced in one year.

Todd DeVoe:      That’s amazing. So it’s great to see this thing moving forward. One of the things that I talk about, I haven’t been shy about it when we had Administrator Long (2018) on the show, we kind of talked about it there as well is the idea of making a standard for the emergency manager. And basically, what I’m saying here is like I read an article in one of the online police magazines and it said, hey, you too can become an emergency manager after you retire. Just go online and take a couple of IS classes and you can hang your shingle as an EM and my personal opinions, I think that does a big disservice to the residents and the citizens that you’re serving. And I love the fact that we’re doing more with FEMA with the professionalizing of the, of emergency management through our training. What do you think of using something like the training that you get at FEMA as being the base of say, credentialing system in states?

Kelly Garrett:      We’ve had a lot of discussions about that. First of all, I like to knowledge that most states have their credentialing program right now and the majority of them are very good. A number of those states that do have state credentialing programs or using the academies as a basis for that. For instance, the state of Tennessee uses the basic academy for their credentialing program. California uses the advanced academy as the credentialing program for their tier two emergency managers. So we’re starting to see more states adopt the academies as part of their state credentialing program anyway. So we’re trying to work as closely with state partners as we can to make that a reasonable, program for them too, assimilate with within their state programs. And while most people seem to think that the federal government can require a certain thing that’s not part of our function and how we work. So we’re not going to tell states you’ve got to do this. We need to look at it from a collaborative standpoint and say, could we partner and be a willing partner to help you achieve your goals? And that’s the approach we’ve tried to take with the academies.

               So our long term goal is to really focus on the next generation core competencies desired by emergency management professionals and we focus on helping to develop those competencies throughout all three of the academies and make certain that the curriculum and the content is consistent with the requirements that are any emergency manager anywhere in any state, a territory or tribe across the country, value in their professional development.

Todd DeVoe:      That’s so true. And I don’t want anybody to think that I’m trying to say that we should have a top down for the federal government to say mandate to any states what they have to do. I’m not saying that. I just wanted to try to bring the idea of, of a, of at least a standard if you meet the minimum standard of something. And you know, that was one of the questions that we had at the state conference here in California in October (2018) because we were talking about where our standard should go. And I think there’s a lot of good conversation amongst the emergency management community regarding that. I think we all see a need for some sort of standard education because we are all over the board right now.

               I was talking to a state director of emergency management and she was retiring, and I don’t want to say what state and, somebody asked her, oh, what are you going to do now that you’re retired? And she, she says I’m going to become a police chief. You know, we all kind of laughed and her point is so many police chiefs retire and become, try to become an emergency manager. I don’t think it works that way or should work that way at least. But

Kelly Garrett:      yeah, exactly.

Todd DeVoe:      So, and we got TEEX and CDP and EMI and a couple of programs like that that are out there. Are you guys all working together on… I mean, I know that FEMA does have some training programs with TEEX and do you guys work together in creating a, a good curriculum for emergency managers? Or does everybody sort of do their own thing?

Kelly Garrett:      It seems odd that everybody sort of does their own thing, but there’s different, roles that each organization plays within the consortium of partners that FEMA has developed the TEEX program and CHDS and a few others are or supported by FEMA and and I think they’ve got certain roles that they play within the professional development and national training and education system, but the academies are, are sponsored by FEMA and are based here at the Emergency Management Institute and our, our goal is to become the school of continuing and professional studies for the emergency management profession and either supplement what the other partners are doing or hopefully they can supplement what we’re doing. We haven’t to this point formed close collaborative partnerships with the emergency management professional program and then any of the other partners. But that’s not to say that if there’s a value in doing that that we wouldn’t explore that going forward.

Todd DeVoe:      That’s great. I mean, like I know that when we take courses through the other programs, we’re using our, FEMA id to register with them and I think that’s kind of cool because that way at least there’s one place that we’re tracking what education training that we’re doing. But it’s also nice to know that, that you guys are at least talking to each other about programs and stuff like that regarding, at least delivery styles and stuff like this. I got to take the, a train the trainer programs for ICS 300, 400 and put a few classes on here. And I thought the delivery system that was created was well done. But I know that people are talking about revamping some of those programs. Just updating the curriculum, I suppose. How does that work with you guys who, who decides to go, Hey, we’re going to take a look at a class, say ICS 100 for instance, and we’re going to take a look at, see if you’re still working and make it work. How do you guys go through that process?

Kelly Garrett:      Well, I can speak specifically to what we do in the academy. I am sure. It’s a similar process with some of the other courses and I know that through the NIMS re-wright, and the establishment of the new ESU framework that my peers in the preparedness branch are just going through rewrites of a number of those independent study courses and also the classroom courses. But in the academies we get a feedback from the students by taking a Kirkpatrick Level one and level three evaluations. After each course we get an, a level one evaluation. Then about six months after they complete the course and graduate from the academy, we get the level three so that we can see if they were able to apply anything that they’ve learned at the ability of added value to their organization, of the level ones focus on the content and the instruction. And while I mentioned that we focus on trying to help inculcate the next generation core competencies for emergency managers throughout the curriculum.

               We also want to make certain that the content and the curriculum reflects the current contemporary emergency management environment. And while we may use case studies of disasters that happened within the past decade or so, like Katrina or the Boston marathon bombing or deepwater horizon or these types of studies because there is value in that we still try to facilitate learning among the students and how they’ve experienced recent disasters for which they responded and how they’ve been able to apply some of the techniques that we talk about in class so that it’s really current and relevant. Then the students don’t feel that this is really just an emergency management history course and we’re looking at what happened in the past other than to take the lessons learned and what can we do to apply these lessons in the future to help us better prepare for and respond to disasters, which is directly in line with Administrator Longs, strategic. Objective of preparing the, the nation to better respond to disasters.

Todd DeVoe:      I’m glad that’s going on because I think that a curriculum development is really important for everybody, including instructors, you know, it starts to get stale a little bit for them. And, and that becomes the same old thing. So speaking of instructors, how do you guys choose who becomes an instructor over at the academies?

               Well, we’ve got a process at EMI that is driven from an overall process that was developed by the national training and education division on selecting instructors. The first is we look for some, an individual that has a background in facilitating adult education. And I, and I mentioned it that way specifically because I believe there’s a big difference between somebody that can put on training by talking to a bunch of PowerPoint slides versus somebody that can facilitate adult education. And I know you’re an educator so you understand the distinction there. And in a isn’t about, at least for us in the academies, isn’t really about necessarily what is on the slide that we’re putting out to the students. But what does that content can trigger in terms of learning from each other in classroom discussions and facilitating the opportunity for the students to achieve the overall learning objectives of the course.

Kelly Garrett:      So understanding adult learning and how to facilitate adult learning in a classroom environment is very important. Obviously having the, the appropriate background in the subject matter content that the instructor wants to teach in the academy is important. And, and then we go through a process where we, we review a resume, we do an in person interview with a selection panel with the instructor and we also asked for some references and do some reference checks so that we can get a very clear, a rounded picture of the qualifications of a potential instructor. And once we’ve gone through that process, then we score the overall rating of the instructor against the standard and if they meet or exceed the standard, then we extend an offer to them to become an instructor either with any ami course or within the academies.

               The basic and advanced and executive academies are a little different from the typical cores at EMI in that we also reach out two contracting partners to provide us with qualified instructors simply because of the scope of the programs. And as the number of deliveries have grown we want to make certain that we have an adequate pool of instructors with a requisite credentials to be able to instruct, but we still go through the same process. It’s just then we may refer them to the instructor do or I’m sorry, the contractor to do another level of vetting to make sure that we’re getting the most part highly qualified instructors available for the academies. And more and more we are looking to get academy alumni involved as instructors because they’ve been through the academy, they know what we’re trying to accomplish and the value of the education and learning that comes from, from the cohorts of the academies. So, we find that they fit in well and being able to do that as an instructor.

Todd DeVoe:      That’s important. I think that when people understand that when you have an instructor up there, it’s not just somebody who, they just plucked out of an office and said, hey, you’re teaching this class today, that you guys go through that process and pick quality instructors. I’ve, I’ve taken a few of the classes and the people who’ve taught my classes have been great and have vast experience for all over the nation and it’s great to meet people. We had people From New York City, NYPD come and teach a class and it was unbelievable to have connections with the people who responded to some of the larger incidents and learn from them. And I think it’s great to see emergency managers teach other emergency managers and I think that’s exciting stuff right there. Especially. Yeah. Especially learning from each other this way. It’s, it’s a fun, you know, and then you get to have that connection and, and, and get to call them if you have any other questions. It’s a great collaborative network that we created here through those courses. So.

Kelly Garrett:      And I think it also lends credibility to the program, but for bringing those types of quality instructors in as well taught.

Todd DeVoe:      Oh, I agree with you. I agree with you. One hundred percent. So, couple of more questions here. So when do you decide that you’re going to go to the academy and you get accepted? What’s it like? What’s it like to be in that, in that classroom? So, you flying into wherever you’re flying into, you get to the, you get to EMI, and then what’s it like? What’s the, what’s the experience like?

Kelly Garrett:      Typically regardless of where a student flies into whether wherever they are in the country and some of the local students will drive here, but they’ll stay on campus. We provide lodging here on campus at no cost to the students. And with the initial introduction of the class at 8:00 on Monday morning and in the academies, we typically start not only with the introduction of the course manager or the program manager who’s responsible for that particular academy. Our superintendent or deputy superintendent typically comes by and welcomes the students to EMI and provides a brief background on, the FEMA strategic plan and its relevance to the academies in particular. Then we have the, the normal administrative type details, but then the next couple of hours in the morning are spent with student introductions in the students getting to know each other a little bit better. We’ll provide some information before the students get here on who’s in the class and the class roster, but this is the first time that we provide students the opportunity to really start forming as a cohort or to start to really develop those relationships by introducing themselves, talking briefly about their careers and just having the opportunity to break the ice a little bit so that we know who’s in the class and where they’re from.

               And if there are similar backgrounds or if there’s somebody that I know another classmate may have heard of by reputation but never had the opportunity to meet. So on a break they can seek them out and then start to engage in conversation. And then depending on the academy, we really start with the introduction to here are the competencies that we’re going to focus on during this week of the instruction but we try to also have themes and each week of each of the academies or each course for instance, the Basic Academy starts with the foundations course, which is the first two weeks. The, the third week focuses on a science for disasters and planning and emergency management operations. Then the final week we have a, we replaced the exercise design course with the Homeland Security exercise program so that we’ve got HCP included in the basic academy now. And then we finished up with public information in morning.

               So those are the five courses that we focus on. The basic academy and the Advanced Academy. Each week has a different theme. We start with focusing on individual assessing individual style in emergency management as an individual performer and focusing on being individually competent and being a team member. The second week focuses on a leading teams and leading projects as the emergency manager. Week number three focuses on leading organizations. And in week number four, focuses on leading in the profession as an emergency manager. So, for those advanced academy students then that apply and go onto the executive academy there, they understand that we’re going to take a doctrinal and policy looking at strategic look at emergency management and the first week of the executive academy starts with examining the emergency management policy and doctrine. And as I mentioned earlier, why do we do what we do and what is it that we could look at a changing based on the lessons we’ve learned from the contemporary environment?

               Then the second week of the Executive Academy, we focus on leading complex systems because I think all of us would agree that being an emergency manager is dealing with complex systems and it is a system of systems and we need to understand how those systems all fit together and how we can lead our influence. So that’s the second week of the Executive Academy. Then the third week focuses on interpreting the contemporary emergency management environment by looking at socio-cultural considerations, geographic considerations, environmental considerations, and also the application of technology. And risk management and in the final week of the executive academy focuses on creating the emergency management stakeholder community. So how do we tie all of this together and create a community of professionals that can support each other in preparing for and responding to disasters across the nation.

Todd DeVoe:      Really good stuff right there for sure. Okay. So, if somebody is interested in getting involved, any academies, these are going to them or, or just learn more about it, how can they find you guys?

Kelly Garrett:      The best place to start is on our website, which is So that’s the landing page for our training programs here with the Emergency Management Institute. And then across the top dropdown menu is an option to select the emergency management professional program and that will take the person to the landing page for it, the emergency management professional programs. So it was so a brief explanation of all three academies and by selecting the link for each of the academies can get greater detail on the courses, the weekly themes that I just talked about the topics that are covered, how to apply, how to contact the EMI admissions office because really the admissions office helps with the application process and we’ve also recently added a link to the International Association of Emergency Managers Educational Crosswalk that IAEM Certification Committee did with the three academies because we’re now closely aligned with the IAEM CEM certification and recertification process. So, so while we can’t guarantee a student that when they graduate from the academies, they will be a certified emergency manager or be able to recertify. There is an educational crosswalk that demonstrates how the academies can get somebody 80 percent of the way to achieving that professional designation.

               The academic papers that the vast academy students, right count as a contribution to the profession in the other category and the capstone projects completed by the students. The Executive Academy also count as a contribution to the profession and the other category. So we were starting to see more and more people Todd that have graduated from multiple academies, both the basic and advanced or advanced and executive academy, and we actually have about 12 people across the country that have completed all three academies, but the Basic Academy counts as 152 hours of training credit for the AEM cme. The advanced academy is 140 hours plus the paper and the Executive Academy is 120 hours plus the capstone project. So initial certification is 200 hours. So again, we can get 70 or 80 percent of the way there a toward accomplishing those goals for achieving the CEM. And for recertification, we’ve even had some of our instructors that have accomplished their recertification by completing the academy because I think it’s after five years is the first recertification period and that requires 80 hours of training between emergency management, specific and general leadership. And that we’ve got that built into the curriculum of all the academies. So, we’re proud of the fact that we were able to partner with IAEM to get that accomplished. And that’s something that we’re going to continue to promote throughout the next year.

Todd DeVoe:      That’s great. We’re talking about that as well. I think it’s important that emergency managers do continue to learn, and I think through IAEM and their standards a put you there. So thank you for that. So the toughest question of the day, what book or books or publication do you recommend to somebody in emergency management?

Kelly Garrett:      actually, I think that’s a great question. If I could there a couple of ways like to answer that. The first is we’ve developed an emergency management professional program, recommended professional reading list this year that we’re in the process of getting posted on our website and we want to start to share it with the academy students as they come in for the, the fiscal year 2019 academic year. Yeah. And encompasses 16 titles that we’ve identified that could be the foundation for professional development and reading. And it includes titles like Raven Rock, Ted Koppel’s book lights out about a cyber-attack on the nation and how that would affect our infrastructure. Disaster preparedness in New York City. Because you mentioned the New York City and the way they responded, um, to disasters in the past. So we’ve got that book, disaster preparedness in New York City and essential guide to a communication first aid evacuation after the worst happens.

               And then we have a couple of leadership books, leadership in the open, a new paradigm and emergency management by Adam Crow that, I would be a good read. And we also have a book called leadership dispatches on the list. It was Chili’s extraordinary comeback from disaster and it was written by Michael Useem who is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Well, what I found was interesting of that is one of our most recent executive academy graduates was involved with the disaster response as a member, as an admiral and the Chilean Navy. And he graduated from all three of our academies within the past two years. And he intends to take the lessons he’s learned here back to Chile and the rest of Latin America to try to replicate the professional development programs that we’ve got here with the emergency management preparedness program.

               The second part is my, one of the books that I would recommend, I read this during my masters degree studies and I’ve found that it was a a significant change in my life to book called now discover your strengths by Marcus Buckingham and the focus of the book is how to understand what the core strengths of everyone is. An individual might be in their 34 common themes that are identified and by reading this book and if you buy the book, you also get a link to an online survey that helps you identify your five key core themes out of those 34 so you can really understand how you really functioned as a professional and I think it’s important for organizations to really focus on deploying team members according to their strengths and not necessarily hold weaknesses against them because we all have strengths that are really strong. So, a good team tries to employ everyone to their greatest strengths and that helped me understand what my core strengths where I suspected it, but I didn’t know it. But that’s. That book has helped me understand how to. How to influence outcomes in a, in a collaborative team environment unlike, I was able to do before then

Todd DeVoe:      at the end of the day in emergency management is a team. There’s no say there’s no, I guess maybe there’s somebody out there but I don’t know them that can run a complete disaster by themselves. And so, knowing your strengths, knowing your team strengths I think is important. So thank you for that recommendation. So is there anything that you’d like to say to the emergency manager out there before we let you go?

Kelly Garrett:      I’d like to thank everyone that has shown an interest in and participated in and graduated from our academies and the Emergency Management Professional Program. I want to thank the state training officers and exercise planners that have reached out to make the academy’s part of their professional development and training for the emergency managers and their states. And then we’ve piloted some alternative delivery methods and some states that may have large volunteer populations among the emergency managers or states that have remote small emergency management shops. So for instance, in the state of New Jersey, we piloted a week day program rather than going for full weeks, New Jersey puts on two days a week for a series of weeks to complete the academy in Kansas. We piloted weekend deliveries and in the state of Iowa we Iowa partner with the Des Moines area community college to do a blended approach. So part of it was facilitated online and part of it was in the classroom. So we’re trying to expand those opportunities as we go forward so that we’re able to reach a much greater audience. So I guess my closing message would be if you are interested in developing yourself as an emergency management professional and preparing yourself to be better at your job and the further your career, we likely have the opportunity to be able to do that among the three academies in Emergency Management Professional Program.

Todd DeVoe:      Thank you so much for spending some time here today with EM Weekly and it’s been a pleasure speaking with you.

Kelly Garrett:      Thank you so much. I appreciate the opportunity and I had a great time.








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