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What are jobs in emergency management?

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Jobs in emergency management and public safety have come a long way

Since the events of 9/11, the country has beefed up security. A direct result of this is the creation of a variety of new emergency management jobs.

These workers are trained to take care of specific aspects of the emergency during a time of such dire crisis according to their area of expertise, and will come at it from different angles. Here are a few jobs that have been created to help serve the country in the event of an emergency.

Law Enforcement

There are always people who will try to take advantage of a major public crisis for their own gain. This is one of the many areas in which trained law enforcement professionals are invaluable.

They keep an eye on the obvious problems such as physical confrontations between stressed out individuals involved in the event, but they can also keep the peace by simply staying alert to emergent situations surrounding the main event.

Search and Rescue Pros

Depending on the type of the event, search and rescue specialists can go into damaged buildings or into bodies of water.

For example, during 9/11, search and rescue specialists were needed to search for survivors. Similarly, cadaver dogs were used to search for bodies with their handlers who are trained to work with these specially trained animals. There are also professionals trained to search and perform rescues in bodies of water.

Mass Casualty Care

This field has become a more visible part of the list of emergency management jobs since the onset of the first Gulf War in the early 90s.

Medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, are deployed during a major incident to triage patients, perform acute care on scene, and various other medically necessary procedures. These individuals are trained in emergency medicine with additional training in how to medically handle mass casualties such as events like the Oklahoma City Bombing or September 11th.

Incident Management

This job is not only about managing an incident when it occurs. The Incident Manager has to review the procedures already in place at a business, residential community or other place where many people live and work together.

An incident manager makes sure they not only cover the simple topics such as how to make a 72 hour kit, but more wide-ranging procedures such as how to run a business when the office is closed for an extended period of time.

One of the main issues during a major emergency is the communication systems as was evident during the 9/11 attacks. The various departmentsí communication systems did not speak to each other causing much confusion during a difficult situation. Worse was the lack of back up systems to facilitate communication if the normal systems (a.k.a. radios and cell phones) stopped working.

The Incident Manager takes into account all possible scenarios and builds the appropriate procedures and systems to be used during a major emergency.

Fire and Hazardous Materials Specialists

Several emergency management jobs involve direct contact with the emergent scene such as a fire or a hazardous chemical spill. As a result, fire fighters are no longer limited to only knowing how to put out a fire and secure an unsafe building.

There are a number of procedures to follow in the event of a chemical spill depending on the substance spilled as well as the location of the spill. Consequently, some fire fighters become hazmat specialists, undergoing extensive training so they can properly respond to that spill on the highway or the explosion at the chemical plant near a populated area. From firefighter protective clothing to what to use to safely mop up the spill, these professionals are highly trained.

Jobs in Public Health

Public Health entails much more than treating illnesses and injuries. These jobs run the gamut from city or county public health directors of companies, municipal investigators, research analysts for the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and hospital-based jobs such as infection control specialists or environmental specialists. In other words, they are trained to anticipate ways to keep the public free from illness and injury. In essence, these professionals anticipate rather than react.

Emergency management jobs encompassing everything from public service to taking direct care of patients will be important if anything as dire as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina or the midwestern tornadoes of 2011 happens again. Unfortunately, these types of events are inevitable. The fortunate part is that the world has realized the importance of being prepared for any event with the specialists who are trained for the job.

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