The City of Renton’s Emergency Management Director Deborah Needham recently earned the Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) credential from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). The CEM® designation is the highest honor of professional achievement available from the IAEM, which has a membership of more than 5,000 emergency managers representing local, state, and federal government; private industry; and military emergency managers.
Needham joins the ranks of 1,850 other emergency managers who have received this certification since January, 1993, when the certification was first established. Recipients of the CEM® certification are selected by a commission of respected professionals in the field of emergency management. Requirements for the emergency management certification program include experience, references, education, training, and contributions to the profession. To maintain certification, CEM® recipients must submit verification of additional training and contributions to the profession every five years.
As part of the CEM® credential process, Needham was required to complete an extensive credentials package, a management essay, and a written examination. The management essay required recipients to submit a response to a scenario they might face while fulfilling emergency management responsibilities.
Needham’s management essay was based upon actual events and things the city utilizes to get important emergency information to the public in the event of major power outages in Renton, including: the city maintains 17 neighborhood emergency information centers throughout Renton; the city’s communication division staff provide real-time information on the city’s Critical Emergency Information web page and other social media to disseminate information; and the city encourages the use of cell phones to receive information during power outages, since cell towers often still operate when the power goes out. From the city’s web page residents and businesses within the City of Renton can register their cell phones with the city’s CodeRED mass notification system to receive critical alerts on their cell phones when they are issued.
*Editor's Note: Information provided by the City of Renton.