By: Kathy L. Francis, MS, CEM, MDPEMP
Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management
Public safety professions are dynamic, ever-changing, and rely heavily on networking. When was the last time you critically reviewed your professional networks and listservs to ensure that you are connected with progressive and innovative groups? I offer a few ideas for you to explore and encourage you to join this post and share your networking ideas with our team.
“The Resilience Consortium is an association of higher education faculty, learning services, and counseling services interested in understanding and promoting student resilience.
Resilience can be understood in many ways, in terms of one’s capacities for persistence, creativity, emotional intelligence, grit, cognitive flexibility, risk-taking, agency, adapting to change, delaying gratification, learning from failure, and questioning success.
The Resilience Consortium emerged from a shared sense that today’s students encounter unprecedented challenges in their lives and work that require them to exercise capacities for resilience, and that institutions of higher education have an important role to play in helping young people develop these capacities” (http://resilienceconsortium.bsc.harvard.edu/).
“The National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF) is a … non-profit organization committed to scholarship, research and to creating a safer, healthier environment on college and university campuses through the support, promotion, and advocacy of campus-based emergency medical services…
In addition to providing for the acquisition of medical knowledge, campus based EMS allows student participants to develop certain life skills including leadership, communication, and decision-making. NCEMSF … creates an environment where ideas can be exchanged and problems can be solved” (https://www.ncemsf.org/).
American Disabilities Act (ADA) through the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division provides great resources to the public to help us learn how to include people with access and functional needs. For example, on March 9 they will host a webinar addressing ADA and communication approaches during and after an emergency (https://www.ada.gov/).
“First Responder Communities of Practice is a professional networking, collaboration, and communication platform created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate to support improved collaboration and information sharing amongst the nation’s First Responders and other federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local governments and private sector stakeholders supporting homeland security efforts. “This vetted community of members focuses on emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and other homeland security issues” (https://communities.firstresponder.gov/web/guest;jsessionid=9A4D7CF413EA282F96D1BFBC9C0977DD.w4).
National Center for Campus Public Safety is a network that provides online and traditional resources, events, and technical assistance and information to support safer campus communities. (http://www.nccpsafety.org/nccps-events). It contains topics such as the impact of marijuana legalization on college campuses, the opioid epidemic, and managing threat.
Disaster Resilient Universities (DRU) Network facilitates open communication, discussion, and resource sharing between university/college emergency management practitioners charged with making our campuses more disaster resilient. The DRU listserv is for university and/or college emergency management professionals to share information and engage in discussions related to the profession and emerging issues around campus emergency management (http://www.nccpsafety.org/assets/files/misc/DRU_Network_Overview_123115_FNL.pdf).
Get involved! National preparedness is a shared, whole community responsibility. Expanding your professional network will benefit you as an individual, your agency, and the community you serve.