The learning curve for new city emergency managers in Southern California is daunting. Though many bring emergency response or disaster management experience, a significant proportion have had limited exposure and have been assigned the role as an ancillary duty. Few are fully versed in the intricacies of the disaster cycle and the emergency management systems of Southern California. Constrained by limited time, funding, and available guidance, many new city emergency managers are forced to learn the intricacies of their role on the job – often in the midst of disaster events.
Recognizing the detrimental effect of this learning curve on regional preparedness, response, and recovery, Disaster Management Area Coordinators decided to pool their resources to create Los Angeles County’s first standardized orientation training for City Emergency Managers with the collaboration of the CONSTANT team.
The one to two-day course provides new emergency managers with the knowledge and resources necessary to hit the ground running in terms of their job responsibilities and professional development. The course explains in detail the role of the emergency manager, essential training and certifications, key processes and regulations, as well as region-specific guidance on meeting the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery needs of cities and local jurisdictions. To drive these lessons home, the course features quotes and lessons learned from experienced city emergency managers alongside interactive exercises require students to apply what they have learned.
The New Emergency Manager Orientation is currently being used to support the induction and training of new emergency managers in the 58 cities within Disaster Management Areas C, D, and E in Los Angeles County. Additionally, the Disaster Management Area Partnership has made the course and its contents openly available to all jurisdictions and emergency managers who wish to use the material. It is the Partnership’s hope that, by enriching the early learning of Southern California’s newest city emergency managers, the continuity, capacity, and readiness of city emergency management programs region-wide can be substantially enhanced.
This program recently won the 2019 California Emergency Services Association (CESA) Southern Chapter’s Silver Award (Public Sector).