by Lt. Cmdr. Kristina Butler
Members from the Coast Guard Office of Emergency Management and Disaster Response, Coast Guard 5thDistrict and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management recently collaborated to bring an exciting emergency management training opportunity to the field: a CG-VDEM pilot of the National Emergency Management Basic Academy.
The NEMBA is a FEMA Emergency Management Institute course that serves as a foundational gateway for junior emergency managers. Focusing on basic principles of emergency management, exercise design and execution, and disaster science, the course brings together emergency managers from all sectors and levels of government. Inter-agency partnership and collaboration is key to the proven success of the NEMBA program, and the course targets diverse attendance of emergency managers from all sectors, including: state, local, tribal and territorial homeland security or emergency services programs; Non-governmental organizations and volunteer agencies; private sector emergency management offices; college and university emergency management staff; FEMA, Federal partners, and the military.
NEMBA is held several times each year at the FEMA EMI campus in Emmitsburg, MD. However, state emergency management agencies with certified instructors are also endorsed to teach a new exportable NEMBA course, and many states are developing NEMBA-oriented training programs. For this pilot, the Coast Guard partnered with VDEM to co-host the course. Doing so significantly increased the number of Coast Guardsmen able to attend this valuable training. VDEM, which helped provide an instructional team of nine subject matter experts, was also able to grow its own training program and bring NEMBA to its Virginia-area partners.
The CG-VDEM pilot of NEMBA is being held in three one-week segments. Students completed the first segment (Foundations of Emergency Management) this past October in Suffolk, VA. 19 Coast Guard members are attended the course, representing Emergency Management Force Readiness and Incident Management divisions from 19 different Sectors and Marine Safety Units. Additionally, 19 students from the Virginia area were also selected to attend, representing: VDEM, seven localities (Norfolk, James City County, York County, Page County, Gloucester County and Charles City County), two regional partners, and five state agency partners. Students will return to Suffolk for two more one-week segments in January and March to complete the program of study, which will include the following classes: Science of Disaster, Planning – Emergency Operations, Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation, and Public Information and Warning.
The NEMBA training opportunity is in line with two of the Coast Guard Commandant’s 2018-2022 Strategic Guidance priorities: Lead in Crisis and Intensify Integrated Emergency Management Planning and Execution. By co-hosting this training, the Coast Guard leverages an important state partnership, provides a valuable foundation to EMFR and IMD personnel, and fosters strong ties with its emergency management partners.
Anyone interested in learning more about NEMBA can visit the FEMA EMI website at: https://training.fema.gov/empp/basic.aspx