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Training and Exercises

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

PEMA also administers a statewide Emergency Exercise Program and oversees the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Coordinator certification program.

Throughout the state, PEMA coordinates emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts for natural and manmade disasters such as tornadoes, storms, earthquakes, and hazardous materials incidents, including acts of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction. By working seamlessly with state agencies, local public safety departments, and volunteer organizations, PEMA can effectively coordinate response to the emergency needs of the state’s 67 counties in times of disaster.

Training and Exercise Goals

To address the critical need of providing advanced, up-to-date training for Pennsylvania’s public safety professionals, the PEMA Training and Exercise Division was established to provide innovative and professional training to state and local emergency management personnel, elected and appointed officials, emergency responders, members of volunteer organizations active in disasters, and other professionals who prepare for and respond to emergencies.

The division provides public education, professional development training, and technical training to public safety volunteers from state government and local communities across the commonwealth. It conducts all-hazards related exercises to test the preparedness of state agencies, local governments, and community public service organizations (i.e. schools, hospitals, and others).

Additional Information

To maintain the proficiency of its staff and to keep its procedures current, PEMA regularly conducts exercises to test the effectiveness of multi-agency interoperability by utilizing key personnel from state and local agencies as well as coordinating with other response partners and federal agencies.

PEMA is not accredited as an academic institution. However, some of the courses offered involve college-level curriculum and individuals completing these courses may apply to their respective colleges for credit consideration. Certain courses and activities may be eligible for in-service or continuing education credit from such agencies/organizations as:

  • PA Department of Health
  • PA Department of Education
  • PA Coroner’s Association
  • PA Funeral Directors
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)