National Emergency Management Executive Academy taps TEEX to deliver training exercises

The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) was selected to provide emergency management training and exercises for the renowned Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in Emmitsburg, MD.

A six-member instructional team, led by Executive Programs Director Rick Comley, developed and delivered a successful, four-day capstone course, Exercising Emergency Management Executive Policy and Decision-making, in September for the National Emergency Management Executive Academy.

The Executive Academy is designed for senior-level executives in the public and private sector who are responsible for making decisions that have a significant effect on prevention, protection and mitigation policy or the management of disaster response and recovery. Thirty-eight executives attended this year’s course which was assessed by the EMI Superintendent as a “stellar” performance by the team.

The intent of the course is to place the participants in difficult emergency management situations, exploring strategic leadership, decision-making and policy-making during adversity and stress, Comley said.

Along with TEEX, the Executive Academy is conducted in collaboration with Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Institute, University of Hawaii’s National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, and the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Executives are selected by FEMA to attend the series of four in-residence courses, including: Emergency Management—A Leadership Challenge; Integrating Science into Emergency Management Policies and Decisions; and Emergency Management in the 21st Century.

The capstone course in the series, Exercising Emergency Management Executive Policy and Decision-making, was designed to be interactive with case studies, senior level guest speakers, exercises and policy discussions that stress executive level decision-making during difficult emergency management situations, Comley said. It draws its activities and focus from the previous three courses and the lessons learned from them.

Exercises focused on the emergency management challenges and national policy implications involved in dealing with a series of cascading and catastrophic disaster events, including response to a widespread blackout on the East Coast, and recovery from a tsunami on the West Coast.

In addition to Comley, other members on the delivery team included Steve Keim, Tony Crites, Ronnie Taylor, and Adjunct Instructors Tom Panther and Joe Lynch. Course development was supported by Vickie Park, Jenny Britton and Matt Sherwood from the TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute Curriculum Team, and the TEEX Digital Printing Services.”

The development and delivery of the capstone course was done in collaboration with the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center, which funded the development and delivery of this joint Department of Homeland Security and FEMA effort, said Comley. “I was extremely proud of the team’s overall contribution to this joint program aimed at training and developing senior leaders from across the nation.”