NLC Shifts Focus to Local Officials with Emergency Management Training Project
Duvall, Cherie, Seeger, Katie, Nation's Cities Weekly
With studies showing that current emergency management training is mostly geared to first responders and emergency managers, work on NLC's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) $1.89 million cooperative agreement on providing comprehensive training for elected officials and other community leaders on a national level got under way last week.
The Emergency Management Advisory Council convened in Washington, D.C., to inaugurate the three-year project and to begin the analysis and design phase of the cooperative agreement, which was awarded to NLC last year. The Leadership Training for Local Government and Community Leaders program will be carried out jointly with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in conjunction with a 15-member team comprised of city and county managers, mayors, council members, county commissioners and directors of state municipal leagues.
For the program, NLC and ICMA will work with state municipal leagues, state associations and other affiliate organizations to develop and deliver a unique training program designed for local leaders.
"One of the key things in this program is we can't supplant or reproduce what's already being delivered out there," said James D. Weed, NLC's program manager for emergency management and homeland security. "So this is going to be a totally new program--new design and a new delivery method."
Description of Training
Targeted to the senior elected officials and managers within a given jurisdiction and to the leaders of the business and nonprofit organizations within the community, the program will focus on joint training of leaders to effectively address the four missions of emergency management: prevention, protection, response and recovery.
"Speaking as a local elected official, one of the most important things that local government leaders need to think about is emergency management," said Connie Sprynczynatyk, co-chair of the Emergency Management Advisory Council, executive director of the North Dakota League of Cities, and city commissioner for Bismarck, N.D.
Designed to achieve a management/planning level to enable the senior local officials and their nongovernmental partners to effectively coordinate, the program will educate local leaders about their roles in emergency management; prepare them to better lead their organizations' disaster mitigation and response activities; and improve intra- and intergovernmental coordination, communication and mutual aid.
The role of the advisory council is to oversee and approve the development and delivery of 40 regional training workshops across the country for local elected and appointed officials or their staff plus business leaders in their communities.
"The goal of this program is to take this course and take it back to the community, to the elected leaders to improve a community's understanding of emergency management programs and the importance of those programs," said Weed. …