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.
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.
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.
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.