Compassion Fatigue

First responders know that the work they do has an impact on their outlook on life. Training for emergency workers includes awareness of and skills for applying mental health first aid. Most experienced responders and caretakers have faith that they will always bounce back after a tough case, call or response. The satisfaction they experience from a job well done and making a difference is great medicine. But if the pressure from performing, witnessing of suffering, and even vicarious distress from hearing about suffering is not balanced with satisfaction, we lose good people to other pursuits.

We are familiar with post traumatic stress that can lead to fixation on events, including experiencing dreams or waking thoughts about loss and suffering that interrupt other tasks. This is normal and can be remedied by getting back to life’s tasks and the support of family and friends. Often, people who survive a traumatic event come out of it better prepared to face challenge in the future. Of course, a person can also be overwhelmed, experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

You can invite your team members do assess their own risk of compassion fatigue as well as their compassion satisfaction reserves. It’s also helpful to ensure that family members of emergency managers and first responders understand the risk.

Green Cross Academy of Traumatology offers training and a list of tools for combating the cost of caring.  Post it in the break room. You never know who might need some support.

Kicking off Spring 2019!

FCC Emergency Management students and adjuncts – welcome to the Spring 2019 semester!

You’ll be hearing plenty more from us as classes get underway, but we wanted to start off by showcasing a new accomplishment and a new opportunity:

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management (MACEM) is proud to have placed our first two apprentices with host employers! And, as you can see from the picture attached, we have been recognized by Kelly M. Schulz from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for our efforts in getting this program established and running.

Dennis Bardelli and Todd Tracey applied to the Maryland Emergency Management Specialist Registered Apprenticeship program and have been apprenticed to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. They are FCC students – one nearing degree completion, one just beginning – so you may actually see them around, in your class rosters or as your classmates. If you’re so inclined, congratulate them on being our EM apprentice pioneers! Also, if interested in being an apprentice yourself, or know of someone who might be, please contact the MACEM offices (, and we’ll get the process started.

In the meantime, have a great start to your semester, everyone! We’re all looking forward to a new year full of even more successes like these, and we’ll be here to support each of you in making them happen.


First Generation College Students

The U.S. Department of Education projects that 50% of the college population is comprised of first generation college students.  These students are faced with unique opportunities and challenges.  Leaders emerge in every generation!  Five MACEM staff members were first generation college students and are happy to share their tips for success with you!  Contact us at

2019 Brings Below Average Temperatures for a Large Part of the U.S.

MACEM is checking the updated weather predictions for January-March 2019.  It looks like it’s going to be a cold one from the South to the mid-Atlantic.  Be prepared!  Visit here for more details:

MACEM appreciates first responders and others who work outside and offer 6 tips for working safe in cold weather:


The Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management (MACEM) 2019

The New Year has the MACEM team in the normal efforts of asking:

  • Where have we been?
  • Where are we now?
  • Where are we going?

In that process, we thought we might remind you of the many endeavors of the MACEM. As a department of Frederick Community College (Frederick, MD), we support:

  • An academic program providing two tracks for completion of an Associate of Applied Science Degree, an Emergency Management Certificate, and Letters of Recognition in emergency management skill sets.
  • A professional development program for continuing education in various emergency management and public safety topics.
  • A professional service effort that provides contractual services to FEMA, MEMA, and local public safety agencies and private sector firms.
  • The Maryland Registered Emergency Management Specialist Apprenticeship Program.

Visit our web pages to refresh your memory:

And now the TEST:

  • Where may you convert some FEMA Independent Study Courses for college credit?
  • Where might you attend a traditional Emergency Management Associate in Applied Science Program?
  • Who has developed nationally recognized training in Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack prevention and planning, developing public-private partnerships, emergency management planning, and emergency management mitigation?
  • Who will answer your questions about emergency management higher education, training, emergency management apprenticeships, professional development, and professional services?
  • Where may you find an apprenticeship in the field of emergency management?

And, logically, the ANSWER:

  • The MACEM

Contact us at 301-624-2854 or

Subscribe to our e-news to follow our efforts including our free Webinar Series

Follow us on FaceBook and Twitter

Pet Preparedness for the New Year

Many humane professionals have expressed concerns over the years that buying a pet as a gift is risky for the pet. New research from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says gift pets are no more likely than individually chosen pets to make a good match for their owners. In fact, shelter statistics nation-wide are evidence that Americans are committed to the best of animal care for all of our companions with fur, feathers or fins. Less than 3% of pets in the US ever see the inside of a shelter each year. They are evenly divided between relinquished pets and strays and the stray dogs are reclaimed by owners who never intended to be separated in the first place at a pretty high rate.

So with that good news, if you are one of many households with a new family member after the holidays, it’s time to work your pet into your family preparedness plan. You can find the basics at ( and  Red Cross ( But you might not know what documents and training your pet needs to be truly ready.

Pets should be gradually accustomed to staying in a pet cage or crate even if you never plan to use one. Pets have to be confined at a veterinarian’s office, an emergency shelter or hotel, and possibly in the car. Why not practice so your pet will be used to this in the event of an emergency? Your veterinary technician or pet trainer can help you make a plan that involves the whole family. Kids with some instruction really make great pet trainers.

The documents you should prepare for your pet’s go kit of food, water and a toy (medication if needed) will be species specific. Pets should always have a veterinary health certificate and these are usually good for 6 months to one year. If your pet is vaccinated for communicable diseases (especially communicable to humans), keep receipts or certificates for those treatments. If you are not sure which vaccinations are important, copy a list of all of them. Keep paperwork in waterproof containers, just in case. You should also keep an up to date picture of your pet and think of safe ways to identify your pet, should you become separated. Identification tags, tattoos and microchips are great. Horse owners braid tags into their horse’s mane or tail and livestock owners just paint their phone numbers directly onto their animals with food safe inks and dyes.

Recent disasters in Texas and California provided plenty of visuals of pets left behind or released as a last resort. A plan of action can save you and your pet from ever facing these most difficult decisions when you have no time to think of options. A prepared pet is a safe one!

Public Works PrepTalk

Check out the latest FEMA PrepTalk by Philip Mann! Some great thoughts on how public works and emergency management are even more connected than we might think, and how important it is to keep that connection alive and improving.

Collaboration, communication, and novel uses of heavy construction equipment: ingredients for a good time… and a great partnership between disciplines.

If you want to know more about some of the topics in the video, FEMA has you covered. IS-100, 554, 559, 660, 662, and 1160 are some good places to start – you can find them here:

And if you’re interested in getting college credit for learning about them, those courses can be eligible for that as well – click here to learn more about how we make that happen:

Volunteering and EM

According to the Corporation for National Community Service, volunteering by United States residents is at an all-time high. Thirty percent of adults are supporting their communities by donating their time and energy to causes important to them. Americans, whether or not they volunteer, donated over 400 Billion dollars to charities in 2018. (Giving USA).

Knowing this about our nation is important at a time when constant news keeps us aware of sensational events of crime and even terror acts occurring around the world. Especially, important is considering that Citizen Corps, many fire departments, and disaster relief efforts are volunteer programs. Emergency management is both a profession and a calling, whether we are paid in salary or not, Americans respond when disaster arrives.

If you’ve considered a volunteer position, there are several organizations to turn to for information and support. Here are just a few:

Red Cross
AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps
The National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP)

If you are looking to combine a volunteer experience with your academic or career goals consider an internship for credit at FCC or an Apprenticeship in Maryland through the DLLR Maryland Registered Emergency Management Specialist. (

See the Volunteering In America report here: