Wrapped up the 3rd week of four for the Emergency Management Professional Program yesterday (Friday 12 August 2016). That means I’ve been through: E0101 Foundations of Emergency Management (2-weeks), E0102 Science of Disaster (3-days), and E0103 Planning: Emergency Operations (2-days). Monday starts the last two classes and we’ll be finishing up our 152-hour certification on Thursday afternoon.
E0102: I was looking forward to this class more than any other in the series, but, I’m a giant nerd, so… Yeah. The first two days were pretty good, even though it was a lot of review from courses like G271 (Hazardous Weather and Flood Preparedness), G261 (Flood Response Operations), and a rehash of my geology classes in University. Day 3 was CBRNE (I remember the good old days when we called it B-NICE), and, well. I’m just not going to talk about that one. Take AWR-160-W through TEEX.
E0103 was a lot of rehash from various planning courses, but we spent some time going through the CPG 101 (template / guide for developing and maintaining EOPs) and CPG 201 (overview of THIRA). This was a decent pair of days, even though it was a bit of a very high-level overview. Fortunately, I’m working through the Infrastructure Protection Certificate program through TEEX and will be finishing that up in June 2017 (contains a lot more in-depth threat assessment, THIRA development, and CIKR – Critical Infrastructure / Key Resources – protection skills). And, there’s the whole thing that we had Gettysburg Pete and Katrina from the E0101 back to teach us again.
^^ FEMA Døggën is a pretty cool Døggën
A fair number of my classmates from July are here again as well. Good people. And of course there’s a whole new group of people. A lot from Utah and a couple from North Dakota, a handful from Washington DC Homeland Security, military planners (civilians), and a couple of guys from the Port of Guam.
^^ One of the guys from Guam was eating these and offered to let me try it out. White Li Hing Mui ~ it’s a dried, heavily salted plum that is awesome. He gave me this bag to bring home with me to enjoy.
It’s also been pretty unbearably hot here. Only one day, so far, wasn’t horrible with the humidity. Friday, we had a Heat Index of 107F and today (Saturday) has already hit 108F Heat Index, and it’s only 1230… That said, I skipped out on my plan to hike at Catoctin Mountain National Park this morning. Good thing, too ~ Heat Index was already 100F at 0900.
^^ If I get a screen cap of it going any warmer, I’ll add that one too.
Some storms rolled through Friday night ~ very short but pretty intense ~ so it made for a nice sunset view at Gettysburg.
^^ Friday (12 August 2016) clouds around sunset.
I was there for the Sunset on Cemetery Ridge program again. The program focused more on the historical context of the citizens trying to clean up after the battle and return to normal with a lot of quotes from primary sources and a fair number of photographs. The last time, Ranger Kostic was much more philosophical in her discussion while Ranger Teague was much more historical in this version.
^^ Ranger selfies continue!
Unfortunately, not all of the time here is happy. Today, 13 August 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the LODD (Line of Duty Death) of Ronald Kreamer of Frontier Volunteer Fire Department. Firefighter Kreamer died due to an anaphylactic reaction from being stung by a bee that got into his bunker gear in Wheatfield (Niagara Falls, NY) after he helped a number of residents escape from a fire at a senior residence. I never met Mr. Kreamer, but I was on the scene as a brand new Paramedic (of all of three weeks) as my company’s second in ambulance backing them up. An addition to helping them through mutual aid for this event, I had previously attended a number of classes and drills both at Frontier and with their members.
^^ 2001 LODD stone at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial here on campus
There’s also a tradition / goal that while you’re on campus ~ you want the flags to be at full staff for the entire duration. They were full on Sunday when I arrived and made it all the way to midday on Friday. A Firefighter / Safety Officer out of New Jersey died after a call in the evening of 11 August 2016.
^^ Flags at half-mast at the Memorial this morning (13 August 2016)
LODDs are sad, unfortunate events that happen far too frequently. The alarming number of deaths recently has lead to the release of a Joint Statement from the IAFC (International Association of Fire Chiefs), NFFF (National Fallen Firefighters Foundation), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), and NVFC (National Volunteer Fire Council). The fire service still has work to do to ensure everyone comes home and leads a healthier lifestyle while there.
And with that said ~ deaths during events or disasters are terrible, regardless if the victim is one of our Brothers or Sisters or if they are Citizens. In Emergency Management, we are here to minimize the loss of life through our mission areas of Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. Seeing the NFFF Memorial and the National Civil Defense Monument every day while on campus should remind us all of our solemn duty and inspire us to make the most of these educational opportunities we are given.
^^ National Civil Defense / Emergency Management Monument