Center of Excellence – Homeland Security Emergency Management

November 5, 2014

Cyber Risk Summit – October 30, 2014

Filed under: Education,Event,Washington State — coe at 6:50 pm


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The Center is one of the sponsors of the Cyber Security Summit being held today at Whatcom Community College. Over 100 people are attending and the focus is on business and industry needs. Whatcom and Western have a new pathway program in Cyber/Computer/Info Security Corrinne Sande who is the program manager and also the Director for CyberWatch West which is sponsored ny a National Foundation Grant and who’s purpose is to increase the quantity and quality of the cyber security workforce throughout the western US The Center and CyberWatch West are working together to help focus all hazard emergency management training and education needs to include understand the cyber risk.


Agnes Kirk the CFO for the state’s Technology Services shared the statistic that 60% of small and mid sized firms who have had a cyber breach go out of business in six month. This statistics mirrors our know statistics on what happens to small and medium sized business after an any disaster ‎ 50 to 60% will go out of business. Small and medium sized business normally don’t have the basics for good access control and will not have a business continuity plan.


The Center is working with the HSEM Degree Program and our partner colleges to offer a Certificate in EM Continuity and HSEM in Cyber Security for managers. This Summit it highlighting also the need for K-12 to focus not just on STEM but also information technology and security and the fact that most organizations only train IT people on security when it really it not just an IT issue it is everyone’s issue in the organization and company.


Agnes said that DHS has now identified higher educations as the next target for critical infrastructure hackers because we spent less then 1% on IT security and we have a huge amount of incredible valuable data to cyber hackers‎. Guess our focus on educating manager/administrator is very timely.   Cyber crime has now surpassed organized crime in revenue.

Passenger Train Emergency Response Training Select Dates November & December 2014

Railroad personnel will provide twelve (12) opportunities for PTER training on six (6) dates regarding passenger train emergency response

This Training is Free

Training, presented by Elizabeth Klute, AMTRAK

Northwest, David Albert, Southwest, Gary Miller

Midwest and Mike Stammel Southeast Regional

Emergency Managers, is specifically designed for Fire

Service, Law Enforcement, EMS, Emergency Health, Emergency Management, Public Works, and Utilities workers who may find themselves responding to a passenger train emergency or disaster.

Classroom training activities will Include familiarity with the following railroad topics:

  • Track / Train / Engine Dangers
  • Emergency Phone Numbers
  • Hazardous Conditions / Keeping Safe  Challenges of Extrication / Entry
  • Who’s in Charge?


 Equipment orientation activities will Include:

  • Hands-on Walk Through
  • Access
  • Dangers of Power/Crush Injury etc.

Optional Equipment Drill activities can include:

  • Window Pull/Ladder Slide Extraction (Fire Only)
  • Emergency Medical Passenger Extraction(EMS/Fire)
  • Equipment Suspect Search & Clearing (Law Only)

Agencies must bring their own emergency equipment and pre register for the drill/exercising option by calling Lis Klute, Regional Emergency Manager for Amtrak.

 There is time for up to two agency exercises per class and a release of liability will be required.

 Water will be provided, Class size limited to 25 PER CLASS

 Training Sponsored by:


Seattle Fire Department

King County Emergency Management

Burlington Northern / Santa Fe (BNSF)



10 – Monday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)

  • – Thursday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)
  • – Friday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)


8 – Monday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)

10 – Wednesday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)

18 – Thursday (0900-1300) & (1400-1800)

Training site:  

Amtrak Maintenance &  Administration Facilities

Pacific International Room    187 S Holgate Street Seattle, WA    98134

Onsite Contacts:Elizabeth Klute (Lis)  (206) 445-5952 


Applied Baccalaureate Conference – November 4, 2014

Filed under: Education,Event,Washington State — coe at 6:33 pm




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Pictures of the opening presentations for the BAS Conference. The purpose of the panel was to share experiences about collaborating with industry from the beginning to ensure that the degree meets workforce need: leveraging the knowledge and services of Centers of Excellence; and establishing An active and appropriate advisory committee.

Protecting Washington State’s Supply Chain: Security & Resilience 2014 Summary

Filed under: Education,Event,Washington State — coe at 5:49 pm

The Centers of Excellence for Global Trade & Supply Chain Management and Homeland Security Emergency Management collaborated to conduct a one-day educational forum on October 15, 2014 at Highline College. The purpose of the forum was to examine the challenges and vulnerabilities businesses and organizations can endure while developing resiliency plans for supply chains and establish awareness of need for education and training that integrates security and emergency management training into the supply chain management career pathway.

Through discussions with supply chain management experts, representatives from private and public sectors, educators, and students we were able to focus on what the issues are and what skills are required to secure the physical infrastructure, conveyances, and information that is asset to building resiliency of our supply chain.

Welcome & Keynote

Welcome and opening remarks were made by Alice Madsen, Dean, Professional-Technical of Highline College with moderators Dr. Meg Ryan, Director, Center of Excellence Global Trade & Supply Chain Management and Linda Crerar, Director, Center of Excellence Homeland Security Emergency Management.

The Keynote Address by Representative Gael Tarleton, 36th Legislative District for Washington State helped set the tone of the forum. Rep. Tarleton spoke about being ready for risks and not waiting until they happen. She also shared that we need to know what is at stake if we do not establish security and resiliency for our supply chain industries. Rep. Tarleton said, “You are responsible for the choices you make. Resilience and security affects where we live and our everyday lives.” She also mentioned that knowing our environments psychologically, ecologically, socially, and diversity can help lead us in the right direction on building resiliency.

Morning Panel Discussion

Linda Crerar moderated the morning panel discussion about “Threats, Disruptions, and Vulnerabilities of the Supply Chain” in order to understand how we can secure our supply chain industries.

Panel members were: Representative Gael Tarleton, Member of Governor’s Task Force on Maritime & Manufacturing Industry; Eric Holdeman, Director, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, Pacific NW Economic Region Foundation; Dr. Tim Melbourne, Director, PANGA Geodesy Lab, Department of Geological Sciences; Mike Williams, Supply Chain Manager, World Vision, and Chair of the Puget Sound Roundtable of the Council on Supply Chain Management Professionals; Jim Mullen, EM Northwest Consulting, INC.

Duplication and redundancy in order to fix our failures was brought up by Eric Holdeman. Jim Mullen said” If it doesn’t break than you don’t have to fix it, but you have to be prepared for it.” Introducing Lean Management as a way to collaborate with businesses and organizations on how to build an effective framework for restoration and mitigation.

Working Lunch – Cyber-Security in the Supply Chain

Dr. Amelia Phillips, Chair, Pure & Applied Sciences, Computer Information Systems/Computer Science, Highline College gave a presentation about cyber-security in the supply chain industry. The risks that can occur in the industry are new hardware and software, new threat vectors and contractors, and distribution of software systems between companies. Dr. Phillips informed everyone about the malware called “Blackshades” that have affected over half a million people worldwide. This type of malware sells for as little as $40 on the black market and is used to hijack computers, turn on webcams, access hard drives, and capture keystrokes to steal passwords all without the victim knowing what is going on.

Afternoon Panel

The first afternoon panel focused on the topic of “Natural Disasters and Economic Disruptions.”

Panel members were: Dr. Carlo Smith, Director, Supply Chain Management Institute, Central Washington University; Dr. Walter Szeliga, Geophysics Central Washington University; Dr. Toni Sipic, Economics, Central Washington University; and Dr. Jennifer Lipton, Environmental Geography, Central Washington University.

With our panel members expertise in their respected fields Forum attendees were informed about  how natural disasters can affect the supply chain industry and have a critical impact on the economy. The supply chain industry has become more complex with broaden geographical coverage and has increased the vulnerabilities that can occur within industry.

The second afternoon panel was a “Networking Roundtable: Information sharing on education/training programs.”

Panel members were: Steve Lettic, Faculty and Program Coordinator, Administration of Justice Department, Highline College; Robert Lord, Program Coordinator and Faculty, Statewide Homeland Security Emergency Management, Pierce College; Raegan Copeland, Program Coordinator and Faculty, Business, Highline College; Jesse Cooley, Manager, International Business, Bachelor of Applied Science Degree, North Seattle Community College; Abdul Waheed, Director, Transportation and Logistics Program, Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) were the main focus of this roundtable. All of our educators explained that it is vital for students to be able to think critically and apply what they have learned to their internship. Applying what students have learned helps to build their critical thinking skills and work on their soft skills. Being an effective decision maker and collaborator are other skills that the panelist talked about students needing to develop.

2015 Summit: Save the Date

The third annual Center of Excellence – Homeland Security Emergency Management Summit will take place June 16-17, 2015 at Pierce College – Puyallup Campus.

This Summit will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Center of Excellence of Homeland Security Emergency Management.

2014 Homeland Security-Emergency Management Summit – Summary

Filed under: Education,Event,Homeland Security — coe at 5:46 pm

The second annual Homeland Security Emergency Management Summit was conducted at the McGavick Conference Center on June 17th, 2014. The purpose of our Summit was to help move the HSEM industry forward in understanding that preparedness is a shared responsibility to which everyone contributes including individuals, communities, and the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

The theme of the conference was “Discovering Communities of Practice and Career Pathways in HSEM.”  All of our Summit’s presentations, workshops and discussions utilized the theme about “Communities of Practice.” The Summit helped participants gain a better understanding about the diversity and variety of educational and career pathways in the HSEM field.  Through our discussions, presentations, and workshops our participants were able to help discover and identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed by business and industry, government and private non-profit organizations. Our leading educators and practitioners helped to further divulge information and share knowledge in regards to HSEM careers, trends and innovations.

Welcome & Keynote

Welcome and opening remarks were made by Lowell Porter, Director of Pierce County Emergency Management, and Linda Crerar, Director of the Center of Excellence for Homeland Security Emergency Management.

The Keynote Address by Curry Mayer, Section Chief for Training & Exercise Division CA Governor’s Office of Emergency Services helped set the tone of the Summit. Ms. Mayer spoke about how we have the power to change the impact and the consequences of a disastrous event simply by collaborating with others in our community and how it is important to share the knowledge, skills, and abilities we have in order to significantly increase our community’s resilience.

Morning Panel Discussion

Jeff Parsons, WA State EMD, Private Sector Liaison, moderated the morning panel discussion about “The Importance of the Whole Community” in order to help understand public and private sectors interdependencies that promote and enhance disaster resilience.

Panel members were: Gerard Fiola – Port of Tacoma; Chris Johnson – Virginia Mason Healthcare; Terry Swanson – Safeway; John Wilhite – Guardsmark, LLC; Brian Sund – Boeing Employees Credit Union; Mike Williams – World Vision.

Shared responses and KSAs for all organizations in order to work together and with the community was brought up by Jeff Parsons. He also went on to explain how the HSEM field is becoming diverse with more women obtaining positions. Many of the panel members mentioned how networking is highly important to build relationships.

Grant writing, learning about each industry, and broad expansion of knowledge, understanding business owners, being adaptive, and taking the initiative were some of the skills that the panel members mentioned that are needed for individuals wishing to enter into the HSEM field.

Breakout Sessions

There were five breakout sessions our attendees were able to choose to attend: Emergency Services, Understanding Supply Chain Management, Public Health and Safety, Community Resilience, and Cybersecurity.

All of the workshop sessions feedback on what skill individuals need to have were relatively identical: critical knowledge, being able to communicate and make decisions, know how the government works, analytical skills, writing skills, familiar with labor groups, grant writing, making sure they know the impact of patients in an emergency, being able to take advantage of the opportunities when emergencies happen, being able to work with others, how to recognize and engage with all levels of communities, being able to share information through social media, technical skills, and understanding basic business process. The one skill that all of the workshops mentioned were the much needed soft skills an individual must have.

Working Lunch – “Eric’s Corner”

Eric Holdeman, Regional Center for Disaster Resilience, PNWER, gave a presentation about career pathways in emergency management. He went on to discuss what the career fields are in HSEM along with the challenges and educational pathways to help forge a career in emergency management.

Afternoon Workshops

In the afternoon there were four workshop sessions attendees could choose to attend. The topics were: Educational Pathways – from K-12 to Career Pathways in Emergency Management, Evolution of Online Education, The Intersection of HSEM and Cyber-security, and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and Business Continuity.

Educational Pathways – from K-12 to Careers Pathways in Emergency Management: This workshop helped attendees put into perspective on how to understand the recruitment of students, developing curriculum, and sustaining programs.

Evolution of Online Learning: An overview of what the new trends and innovations to online learning are, and how to not only teach online, but to engage students in the process.

The Intersection of HSEM and Cyber-security: Provided an interactive cyber breach exercise for attendees and a discussion on what role cybersecurity plays in emergency management.

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and Business Continuity: Attendees were given the opportunity to learn about the differences between disaster recovery and business planning.


Networking Reception

During the networking reception our attendees were treated with a catered BBQ hors’ d’oeuvres and had the opportunity to meet our Summit sponsors/exhibitors. Attendees also got the chance to win a variety of door prizes donated by exhibitors.

2015 Summit: Save the Date

The third annual Center of Excellence – Homeland Security Emergency Management Summit will take place June 17, 2015 at Pierce College – Puyallup Campus.

This Summit will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Center of Excellence of Homeland Security Emergency Management.

July 29, 2014

Center of Excellence – HSEM: Helping Haiti in a Time of Need

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,Event,General Interest — coe at 7:59 pm

Mary Schoenfeldt, one of  the faculty members for the Pierce College Homeland Security Emergency Management Degree Program and the Public Outreach Coordinator with Everett Office of Emergency Management is a long time member of Green Cross which helps people who have been traumatized due to a disaster or catastrophic event.  Mary went with a group of Rotary members to Haiti to work with teenagers who are disaster victims for the earthquake.  Mary took 50 of the Center’s “to go” bags to share with the children and brought us back pictures of the children with their new bags.  She said  she could not believe the excitement by the children for receiving the bags which Mary had also added some additional supplies.  Certainly helps all of us put into perspective how important even the smallest items and gestures can be when someone is in need.   If you would like more information about what Mary does with Green Cross you can contact here at Mary Schoenfeldt .  Thank you Mary for all the amazing work you do with people who have been through.


Haiti pic_COE

March 17, 2014

Center of Excellence: Advisory Committee Meeting Summary

Filed under: Event,General Interest — coe at 4:51 pm

On February 25, 2014 The Center of Excellence for Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM) and Pierce College’s HSEM Degree Program held its first Advisory Committee Meeting of the year at the Port of Tacoma. The Committee elected Steve Reinbrecht and Keith Weir as Co-Chairs along with honoring our past Committee Chair, Vickie Brown for her six year services. She was unable to attend, but will be staying on as a member. We have four new members added to our Advisory Committee. Gerald Fiola is the Manager of Port Security at the Port of Tacoma; Bryant Harrison (alternate for Pat Massey) works at FEMA Region 10 specializes training and education in EM; Chris Johnson is an EM Program Manager at Virginia Mason Hospital & Medical Center; Richard Schroedel (alternate for Lowell Porter) works for Pierce County Emergency Management in supervising the Mitigation/Planning/Recovery process; and Jamye Wisecup is the Westside Representative at the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office in their Emergency Management Unit. Wisecup replaced former member, Ute Weber as our WSEMA representative.

After the approval of the October 22, 2013 meeting minutes our new members provided updates from their respected organizations and programs. Bryant Harrison updated everyone about the impacts on Alaska and Japan earthquake regarding radiation. He also mentioned how FEMA is trying to identify knowledge, skills, and ability (KSA) for their staff. FEMA is also transitioning to incident support instead of incident response. Harrison shared that the organization is working on new job titles and job organizations. Jeff Parsons at State Emergency Management Division (EMD) shared about the changes that happened at EMD. Parsons is in the business sector and deals with private business continuity. He explained that risk management is need for businesses. EMD staff, George Crawford is back to covering earthquake drills and exercises. Robert Ezelle is the new Director for EMD and he took command a year ago. Parson also shared that the Cascadia kick off for 2015 is in the works.

Jamye Wisecup works for WSEMA and replaced former Advisory Committee member, Ute Weber. Wisecup was unable to attend the meeting physically, but called via conference call to inform everyone what WSEMA has been up to this past year. The 2014 WSEMA conference is set to be hosted in Spokane on September 23-25. Wisecup informed that the organization is already working on the 2015-2016 conferences. The 2015 WSEMA conference will be a joint conference with Oregon. She also made notions to present to the WSEMA board about the HSEM curriculum and textbook requirements.

New member, Chris Johnson is involved with the Allied Health of EM. He said it is important we integrate Allied Health into the EM field. COE Director, Linda Crerar says that there is a possibility of establishing a certificate in Emergency Health and that one of the pieces that is missing to Health and EM is the lack of connectivity between each other. Johnson commented, “We want people in the Allied Health field to learn how to respond to a disaster.”  He also mentioned that often health care professions only want to interact when there is a disaster and that there isn’t anything really established where they could start working together. Co-Chair, Steve Reinbrecht mentioned that he feels that the HSEM program is very EM heavy and not very robust on the security side. He says we should split 50/50 EM, Pandemic, and Continuity of Operations.

Vice President of Workforce Education for Pierce College, Jo Ann Baria discussed plans to help military veterans transition into new careers and education. Baria said, “Our goal is to help veterans transition their skills from the military to civilian life. They will need access for advising on how to transition out and have information available about a pathway for education and employment.” Research has shown that there are four areas that are pretty common to transition veterans: (1) medic to nursing (some grant money is funded to help research. Trying to align what the gaps are in order to transition them faster. Carol Knight-Wallace was hired to research the skills, gaps, and trends), (2) HSEM and Criminal Justice field (Will get some money to help identify the gap areas,

(3) Trade Transportation and Logistics Management (Maybe next year a work group will get hired), (4) IT. Apprenticeships will need to be developed in order to help the veterans’ transition faster and easier. The HSEM degree program is happy to announce that they will develop a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree pathway by fall 2016. Advisory Committee member, Alisha Griswold (Port of Seattle) will help the degree program develop the Information Technology Certificate.

Ron May, Dean of Applied Technology/Allied Health Division shared that Pierce College’s marketing team has come up with a new initiative to market the school and programs’ Advisory Committees. What they would like to do is use Advisory Committees for marketing. They would take a picture and have members quote about the organization they are with. Robert Lord has volunteered the HSEM Advisory Committee members to participate. Linda directed everyone’s attention to the new COE-HSEM wire frame website content and address. We are going to be taking down our old site and replacing it with our new redesigned website. Amy Foster, a graphics and web designer at the college is helping the Center with the redesign for the new website. Robert Lord showed the members his educational plan for the Fire Command and HSEM degree programs and mentioned that he would like to integrate some of the HSEM courses with the FCA.

The next Advisory Committee meeting will take place on May 20, 2014 at Pierce County Emergency Management. Lowell Porter, Director of Pierce County Emergency Management, will be introduced as a new member and the Center and HSEM degree program are ecstatic about the new addition to the list of members. The upcoming meeting will focus more on a discussion of topics that our Co-Chairs will assist. Our goal is to keep the members engaged with what is going on in the industry and how we can improve our program.



March 6, 2014

Press Release: 2014 COE-HSEM Summit!

2014 State of the State – Discovering Communities of Practice and Career Pathways in HSEM Summit: June 17 & 18, McGavick Conference Center, Lakewood, WA.

The Homeland Security Emergency Management industry is rapidly growing and changing. Jobs within the industry are varied and becoming more specialized and technical. This Summit, sponsored by the Center of Excellence for Homeland Security Emergency Management, will bring together practitioners and educators from around the state to share their knowledge and experience with others in this “communities of practice.”

This Summit will address many issues including the importance of all hazards Emergency Management as it is being used in both the public and private business sector, the intersections of health care and cyber security with Emergency Management and the changing world on eLearning with new tools and other innovations.

Who is part of this “Communities of Practice” that should be attending our Summit?


–        First Responders

–        IT Professionals

–        Allied/Public Health Educators & Practitioners

–        Risk Management & Business Continuity Professionals

–        HSEM Educators and Practitioners

–        Global Trade Supply Chain Management Industries

–        Public Safety and Private Security

–        Maritime Port & Transportation Security

–        Food Safety and Food Security

Registration will available on our website, , starting March 25, 2014. Please contact Kellie Hale at for more information

January 24, 2014

Puget Sound Cyber Security Summit

Filed under: Education,Emergency Preparedness,Event,Washington State — coe at 5:32 pm

2014 Puget Sound Cyber Security Summit

Cascadia Subduction Zone 2016 Castrophic Earthquake and Tsumani Exercise Kick-Off Meeting

Filed under: Emergency Preparedness,Event,Training,Washington State — coe at 5:31 pm


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