On December 12, 2014, Gary Bissig, Deputy Coordinator for the Horsham Township’s Emergency Management Department, and Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Protective Services Occupational Advisory Committee member, provided the EASTERN Protective Services students with emergency management training, including a real life scenario concerning Horsham Township and the back-to-back snow storms that occurred in February 2014 causing loss of power and dangerous situations for many local residents.
The presentation included a history of emergency management, a discussion on the principles of modern day emergency management, a review of the incident command structure, a discussion regarding career options in emergency management, and a discussion on the current state of community policing.
Students were broken into groups and role-played as Police, Fire, EMS (medical professionals), Public Works, and the Operations Chief who was responsible to coordinate all others. They were given the scenario and worked together to discuss the situation and determine what each department needs to do to assist the public.
Emergency management is the function of township government specifically responsible for coordinating the community’s response to major emergencies. The Emergency Management Organization is not a replacement for, or an addition to Police, Fire, Rescue, Highway Department, or other response units, but a system for coordinating and managing various municipal, volunteer and private resources to effectively prepare for, respond to and recover from a community crisis.
The mission of Horsham Township’s Office of Emergency Management is to serve the citizens of the township through effective planning for natural and man-made disasters. Their goal is to save lives and protect property through the coordination of an integrated emergency management system with all emergency response organizations, support services and volunteers. They are an advocate for greater community efforts, including educating the general public to mitigate and prepare for potential emergencies. They support efforts to train and exercise emergency responders in both the public and private sectors. They manage and coordinate efforts toward a rapid recovery from disasters with an effective disaster assistance program.
EASTERN’s Protective Services Program prepares students to enter a career related to law enforcement, fire science, industrial safety and security and emergency radio dispatch.