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A team of employees from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) developed and delivered a successful, four-day Capstone Course for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Emergency Management Institute’s inaugural National Emergency Management Executive Academy July 29 — Aug. 1, in Emmitsburg, MD.

“There were 31 course participants in the initial course comprised of senior government and private sector executives, from across the country,” said Executive Programs Director Rick Comley, who led the team. “I was extremely proud of the team’s overall contribution to this joint effort to train and develop the senior leaders, from across the nation, who attended this first-ever Capstone Course.”

The national executives were selected by FEMA to attend the first series of four in-residence courses to be completed over a two-year period. The first course in the series focused on leadership and was presented by Harvard University. The second course was presented by the Naval Post Graduate School and focused on emergency management developments in the 21st Century. The third course was developed by the University of Hawaii and focused on the use of scientific tools and resources in disaster preparation and response.

In the capstone course, “Exercising Emergency Management Executive Policy and Decision-making,” TEEX was tasked to tie these three courses together. This involved a series of culminating exercises and discussions focused on incorporating the participants’ knowledge and skills gained during the preceding courses into current and future emergency management challenges.

The TEEX team effectively developed case studies, invited senior executive-level speakers from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management to address the course participants.”

The capstone course also included a challenging series of tabletop and functional exercises that focused on the emergency management challenges and national policy implications involved in dealing with a series of cascading disaster events that affect the nation.

Other members on the delivery team included Steve Keim, Tony Crites, Ronnie Taylor, Tom Panther and John Guido. Course development was supported by Aaron Bridge, Vicki Park and Jenny Britton from the Curriculum Team in TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute.

“The development and delivery of the Capstone Course was funded by monies provided to TEEX/NERRTC (National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center) to support this joint Department of Homeland Security and FEMA effort,” said Comley. “DHS/FEMA has plans to repeat this series of courses on an annual basis, to include this new Capstone Course, in the National Emergency Management Executive Academy.”

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Kathy Fraser

Director of Marketing and Communications

These discussions and excersizes with peers were the most helpful to me. It allowed me to think about the unique situation applicable to me. Even the componants that were not applicable to my job were valuable. Thank you for your professionalism and for facilitating a high-quality training. It was worth being away from my duties.

— Managing Critical Incidents at Institutes of Higher Education
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