The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently congratulated the first graduating class of the FEMA Incident Workforce Academy, an emergency preparedness class to ensure FEMA employees are prepared in the event of a national emergency.
"Every FEMA employee is an emergency manager who may be called upon to deploy in response to a disaster," Chief of the Mission Support Branch Melissa Weida Ventresca said. "We want to make sure every employee is trained and ready for those responsibilities."
FIWA is a two-week training initiative for all FEMA employees to prepare them for possible deployment. Fourty-five FEMA employees graduated from the class last week, including full-time FEMA employees, reservists and Cadre of On-Call Response-Recovery employees.
"The intent is to ensure that no matter what role you play in FEMA's mission, you are trained and ready to deploy," Ventresca said. "This course makes sure everyone is receiving the same training. It's also a great networking opportunity. FEMA employees who serve in different capacities across the country get to meet and learn from each other."
FIWA was created through a joint effort between the Emergency Management Institute, the Incident Workforce Management Division and the Center for Domestic Preparedness. Nine additional FIWA courses are scheduled throughout 2014 and will be held at the CDP.