Edited Version April 5, 2000 Transcript
EIIP Tech Arena Online Presentation

"SALEMDUG Technology Certificate Program"

Preston Cook
President SALEMDUG
State and Local Emergency Managers Data Users Group

Walter Green
Assistant Professor
University of Richmond

Amy Sebring: EIIP Moderator

The original unedited transcript of the April 5, 2000 Tech arena presentation is available in EIIP Virtual Forum Archives <http://www.emforum.org>. The following version of the transcript has been edited for easier reading and comprehension. Typos were corrected, date/time/names attributed by the software to each input were deleted but the content of questions and responses are as stated by each participant. Answers from the participants to questions by the audience are grouped beneath the appropriate question to facilitate meaning.


Amy Sebring: We are very sorry about our server problem last week, but we are still amazed that in almost 3 years of doing this, we have not had more problems than we have. You may recall that Preston Cook and Walter Green were with us in a session last summer as they began work on developing a Technology Certificate in Emergency Management. They are back with us today to bring us up to date. A background page is available from <http://www.emforum.org/varena/000329.htm>.

Preston Cook is the current President of the State and Local Emergency Managers Data Users Group, SALEMDUG. He is also the Communications & Warning Coordinator for Orange County, Florida.

Walter Green is Assistant Professor, University of Richmond, and his background includes 28 years of experience in emergency medical services, search and rescue, military disaster preparedness, and the management of large scale operations.

Preston, did you want to say a few words about your upcoming conference?


Preston Cook: Thank you, Amy. Hello. My name is Preston Cook, I am currently serving as President of SALEMDUG. Thank you for this opportunity once again. It’s always a pleasure to join such wonderful discussions.

I would like to invite you to our 15th Annual Conference that will be April 23-26, 2000 In Orlando Florida. Please visit our Website at <http://www.salemdug.org> for additional information. We have a very nice line up of people to talk about technology in Emergency Management. I would love to see you there. I will be quiet now and let Walter speak

Amy Sebring: Walter, we would be pleased to hear about your progress now if you are ready.

Walter Green: I would like to thank everyone for staying for this quick make-up session.

In early 1999 the State and Local Emergency Management Data User's Group (better known as SALEMDUG) started to look for options to recognize people who had expertise in both emergency management and technology. This certification program is the result. It is intended for two types of people, Emergency Managers who use and manage technology as part of their day to day and emergency operations and technology experts who work in emergency management.


Objectives of the CTEM certification are to:

• Identify individuals in emergency management who understand, use, and can manage technology programs,

• Provide incentives and recognition for increased inclusion of technology in state and local emergency management programs, and

• Establish emergency management technology as a legitimate specialty within the profession of emergency management.

Certification Process:

Our intent has been to establish a certification method that fairly tests expertise in the rapidly changing and wide variation in technologies in use, assures experience and expertise in emergency management, and offers reasonable assurance that those certified can manage technology projects and programs. The result is a four component process.

Four Component Process:

Each component contributes a maximum of 200 points (a possible total of 800) with 600 points being required for certification.

1) Experience:

The first component is experience. Points are assigned for years of service, training and education, professional memberships, certifications, etc. Both emergency management and technology qualifications are included in this -- for example, a CEM is worth 25 points and a MCSE 30 points.

2) 100 Questions Open Book Exam:

The second component is a 100 question, open book examination that must be completed in 2 hours. The test covers broad, general knowledge of the entire field of emergency management. We chose an open book test because that is how most of us work -- if we don't know it we grab the "book" on the subject. But the time limit means that to get the highest possible score, you had best come in knowing a reasonable amount about emergency management.

3) Mastery of a Specific Technology:

The third component is a requirement to demonstrate mastery of a specific technology. This can be demonstrated either by vendor certification and training or by submitting materials that show you actually can use the software or remote sensor or other technology.

4) Technology Implementation Management:

The final component is a requirement to demonstrate the ability to manage a technology implementation project in your agency. Again this can be met two ways. Either submit a complete description of a project you have managed or complete a written scenario that asks you to describe how you would manage a technology implementation. The actual application walks you through what you need to submit and how to meet the requirements for each component. Theoretically, you can earn the needed 600 points by the application and its attached documents alone. However, most people will have to take the knowledge examination. It is first being offered on Monday morning at 8:00 am (yes, yes, I know, unfair) at the SALEMDUG conference. For those who wish to do the implementation scenario, it will be offered at 10:30 am.


So what does this cost? The application packet costs $25.00 by check or money order made out to SALEMDUG. Mail the request to: Walter Green, P. O. Box 799, Glen Allen, VA 23060. We can supply the application as a paper copy or e-mail you a Word 97 file. When you return the application, SALEMDUG members pay an additional certification fee of $50, non-members $100. So a SALEMDUG member pays $75 total, a non-member $125. We think this is a demanding certification of which you can be justly proud .

Thanks for the opportunity to present today. I will now turn this back to our moderator.

Amy Sebring: Thank you Preston and Walter. We will take a few questions now. Audience when you are ready, please put in your question mark (?).

[Audience Questions]


Avagene Moore: What type of reaction are you getting from the program? I realize it is new to your folks. How many do you expect to test?

Walter Green: We have received a number of inquiries and I know of at least three candidates for Monday morning testing so far.


Sheena Vivian: As an emergency manager who does not also work in the technology area I would still be interested in taking the entry exam. Is this possible?

Walter Green: Absolutely. I think the process would actually be helpful in structuring a program to increase your technology expertise.


Sheena Vivian: How would one go about that?

Walter Green: Just send me a note, a check, and we will send you the packet, and I will be happy to help you walk through the complete process.


Amy Sebring: When you say open book, is there a particular book you have in mind?

Walter Green: Bring whatever you want to. The questions tend to be structured around using knowledge to solve problems. So if one is to bring a book I would suggest a good general coverage and maybe a couple of good cheat sheets on areas you know you are weak in.


Bob Tabler: Is there an outline of the knowledge and expertise needed to get the certification?

Walter Green: Yes, absolutely. The application packet lays out step by step all of the components and the types of experience that satisfy them. We tried to make certain that it would help you organize your background experiences and materials most effectively.


Bob Tabler: Where can I get that information - What books are needed?

Walter Green: It sounds like there is interest in a study list which we had not anticipated so I think we can generate that easily as we do have structured objectives for all of the parts of the written test.

Bob Tabler: Yes.

Amy Sebring: If you do Walter, let me know and I will post on the background page.


Ray Pena: Pardon the cynicism. I refuse to spend my own (or my county's) money on a CEM. Why should I spend it on this? Why can't I do (either) for free?

Walter Green: Cynicism is justified. But the reality for SALEMDUG as an organization is that it costs us money to establish and run the program, including the award elements, production costs of the test, etc. In an ideal world we would do it for free. The fee we have set is a reasonable one based on (1) our costs and (2) the potential benefits of outside verification of your expertise and credentials not only for your agency in assuring the public of the expertise of its staff but also for yourself in increasing the mobility of your credentials.


Amy Sebring: Have you had a chance to discuss this cert. with NEMA's Technology committee? If so, reaction? I think this fits right in with their accreditation ideas.

Walter Green: I haven't, but we have discussed with a number of people in the technology industry and reactions have been very positive.


Avagene Moore: There are no free certifications that I know of. There is no way to run a program for free with any standardization of the outcome. I was on the CEM commission for 2 years. It is a costly and labor-intensive process. Very serious process. By the way, Walter and Preston, your fee is very reasonable.

Walter Green: Thank you. We tried to be.

Final Question:

Sheena Vivian: Could you post an e-mail address for Walter, please?

Amy Sebring: Walter, if you are willing, please put up your email address.

Walter Green: Home <n0psb@aol.com> (that is a zero) Work: <wgreen@richmond.edu>.


Amy Sebring: Okay, let's wrap. Our thanks for Preston and Walter, especially for coming back today after the problem last week.

Next Wednesday we will be celebrating National Volunteer Week in the Virtual Forum. If you have not already seen it, please check out our current newsletter available under Quick Picks for a piece on the national celebration. Our guest will be Jane Morgan from American Red Cross headquarters, who will be telling us about the ARC's role in crisis counseling. Jane has recently worked the Alaska Airlines crash, so that should be especially interesting.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say thanks for two new EIIP pledges from Derri Hanson and Cristina Mooney <http://www.emforum.org/pledge.wav //bell>. Thanks Derri and Cristina!

That concludes our session for today. Thanks to all of you for being with us.