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​Information for Government Partners

PEMA provides public education, professional development training, and technical training to public safety volunteers from state government and local communities across the commonwealth.

It also administers a statewide Emergency Exercise Program and oversees the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Coordinator Certification Program.

Professional Development and Technical Training

PEMA offers a wide variety of courses tailored to fit the ever-expanding role of public safety. A course announcement for each course will be sent to every county emergency management office and state agency prior to the course.

Professional development training is provided for all members of the public safety community and includes one-day and multi-day classes on topics that help the emergency volunteer or professional to better do their job. 

Technical training provided by PEMA deals primarily with radiological defense or nuclear-biological-chemical subjects.

Pennsylvania law requires that the emergency management coordinator at each level of government earn two levels of certification. A large part of the certification involves completing training offered by PEMA or the Federal Emergency Management Institute.

To maintain the proficiency of its staff and to keep its procedures current, every emergency management agency should conduct regular exercises.

Certification Program

The purpose of the certification and training program is to prescribe the training required to develop competency in individuals serving as county and local emergency management coordinators and staff. 

The content of the certification program has been reviewed by a panel of local, county, regional, and state-level emergency management personnel.  Authority for this program can be found in Title 35, subsection 7502. 

PEMA has consolidated this information plus detailed information on the various levels of certification including corresponding time-in-service requirements into a Certification Directive (PDF).

Certification Checklists

Checklists for the various levels of government and levels of certification have been created to help the applicant document the required training and experience. Specific instructions on completing the checklists, time-in-service requirements, and appointment letters are contained in the directive.

The various checklists may be viewed and downloaded:

County personnel should apply to their respective PEMA area office.

Local level emergency managers should apply to their emergency management coordinator (PDF).