Training & Exercise

Integrated Preparedness Cycle

Training and conducting exercises are critical components of the work done by the Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to increase preparedness and readiness throughout the County. As noted in the Agency's Strategic Plan, Goal 5 includes coordinating "a multi-hazards training and exercise program to evaluate all aspects of the emergency management system." The Training and Exercise Program seeks to strengthen the resiliency and response capabilities of Hamilton County. 

Activities around this goal include supporting the development of the integrated preparedness plan, identifying and hosting training to meet needs, and evaluating capabilities by conducting emergency management exercises at the county and local level. This Program supports enhancing the knowledge and skills of first-responder personnel, public safety officials, emergency management personnel, supporting agencies, and all other critical groups who have a role in the preparedness of the community before, during and after an emergency or disaster.

2021-2023 Training and Exercise Plan

Hamilton County has a focused perspective for trainings and exercises which was, and will continue to be, developed through stakeholder discussions at the annual Training and Exercise Planning Workshop (TEPW). The Hamilton County Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan (MYTEP) is built upon a set of ten program priorities, which consist of areas of improvement identified after real world events and after action reports from pre-planned exercises. By planning and scheduling specific trainings and exercises, the goal of the MYTEP is to provide structure for the strengthening and accomplishment of the program priorities.

The Hamilton County MYTEP is a living document that will be updated and refined annually. Included in the MYTEP are the training and exercises that are scheduled and proposed in Hamilton County for the years 2021-2023.

  2021-2023 Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan - October 2020

Training & Exercise Planning Workshop

Hamilton County EMHSA updates the MYTEP with the help of stakeholders and community partners annually to review program priorities and ensure that training & exercises in the coming year still address the needs of the community. The details of the 2021 TEPW have not yet been finalized.

Exercise Toolkits

Tabletop exercises (TTX) are utilized to assess plans, policies, and procedures, or to assess the systems needed to guide the response to, and recovery from a defined incident. TTXs involve key personnel, senior staff, and elected or appointed officials who discuss hypothetical scenarios in an informal setting, in an effort to better understand concepts, identify strengths and shortfalls, and achieve changes in the approach to a particular situation.

The Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (EMHSA) has developed exercise toolkits which can be accessed by jurisdictions within the County, as well as regional partners and stakeholders, to provide opportunities for exercise conduct focused on applicable hazards identified in the 2023 Hamilton County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. Each toolkit includes the resources and exercise materials needed to conduct a TTX aimed at testing plans, policies, procedures, personnel, facilities, and equipment. 

The exercise toolkits can be accessed here.

Training Bulletin

Hamilton County EMHSA is focused on building preparedness, response and recovery capabilities tied to identified risks and areas of improvement in the region through training opportunities. Informational flyers and registration forms for available training can be found by clicking on the links below.

Training Announcements

Hamilton County Regional Training Bulletin 

All new and upcoming courses in Hamilton County will be posted below and announced via the Southwest Ohio Regional Training Bulletin.

Register to be added to our biweekly distribution list: Join our mailing list  

View Current Bulletin Issue: Bulletin #1-2024
Next Bulletin: February 12, 2024

Promote Your Training or Program Updates in the Bulletin

Hosting a training course that can help build a more resilient and prepared community? Have a unique training opportunity you would like to share with partners? Send the course registration information to: [email protected]

FEMA SID number requirement

Some courses may require a FEMA Student Identification Number (SID) to register. To create or retrieve and existing SID FEMA Student Identification (SID) number, please visit: https://cdp.dhs.gov/FEMASID.

Online Self-Paced Training

While physical classroom based courses are postponed, there are hundreds of free, federally funded online training available from the below sources:

Abbreviation Source/Link Course Type
TEEX Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Cybersecurity, HazMat, EMS, Public Health, Sports and Special Events Management
CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health and Safety
CDP FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness CBRNE, HazMat, Environmental Health
CDP Video Playlist
Columbia Columbia U National Center for Disaster Preparedness Economic Recovery
CTOS Center for Radiological Nuclear Training CBRNE
EMI FEMA Emergency Management Institute Various disciplines – 209 active courses
IAFF International Association of Firefighters HazMat, Health & Safety, Human Resources/Benefits
NCBRT/ACE LSU National Center for Biomedical Research Training/Academy of Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement, COVID-19 Specific Training
NFA National Fire Academy Fire Investigations, Executive Leadership, Fire/EMS Technology/Systems, GIS, Risk Management, Training Program design, Incident Command, etc.
OBP DHS Office of Bombing Prevention Terrorism, Explosive Devices
RDPC Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium Crisis Management, Event security, Terrorism Awareness, CBRNE
START Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism Cybersecurity, Terrorism

Emergency Management Professional Development Guidance

For guidance, resources and a list of courses in the region/state that can help you complete several Emergency Management certificate programs.

Professional Series Description
FEMA Professional Development Series (PDS) The Professional Development Series includes seven Emergency Management Institute independent study courses that provide a well-rounded set of fundamentals for those in the emergency management profession.
FEMA Basic Academy The National Emergency Management Basic Academy is a gateway for individuals pursuing a career in emergency management.
FEMA Advanced Professional Series This series emphasizes applied skills in disaster operations, management and coordination.
FEMA Advanced Academy
The National Emergency Management Advanced Academy (NEMAA) reinforces the qualities needed to lead emergency management programs, provides relevant management theories and concepts, and utilizes appropriate case studies.
FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner The Master Exercise Practitioner Program is a series of two classroom courses (E0132, E0133) focusing on advanced program management, exercise design and evaluation practices in each phase of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).
FEMA Continuity Excellence Series (CES) The CES Program brings valuable benefits to the professionals who engage in it, their sponsoring organizations, and for all of America. CES combines emergency management, continuity, leadership and instructional development courses.
FEMA Public Information Officer Series The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Public Information Officer (PIO) training program is designed to provide PIOs with the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities to support proper decision-making by delivering the right message, to the right people, at the right time.
TEEX Infrastructure Protection Series The Infrastructure Protection Certificate Program is a series of four courses that will enrich your knowledge of and skills in critical infrastructure security and resilience.
TEEX Infrastructure Disaster Management The TEEX Infrastructure Disaster Management certificate is designed for professionals who wish to enrich their personal knowledge and skills related to critical infrastructure disaster management and resilience while earning International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
IAEM Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)/Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) There are two types of certification offered: the Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) and the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM).
Ohio Certified Emergency Manager (OCEM) The Emergency Management Association of Ohio (EMAO) created the Ohio Certified Emergency Manager (OCEM) Program to advance and support professional standards for Ohio Emergency Managers.
MLA Disaster Information Specialization The MLA Disaster Information Specialization provides training and recognition for librarians and others who rely on information for their work in disaster preparedness and response.

Training Program Policy

The Hamilton County Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency (EMHSA) administers an emergency management training program that offers a variety of courses for students. EMHSA facilitates trainings provided by FEMA's Emergency Management Institute, FEMA's National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, and Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, and Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

Course Registration

For all courses that EMHSA provides or facilitates, students must have their FEMA SID prior to registration for the course. Students may obtain their FEMA SID by visiting: https://cdp.dhs.gov/FEMASID. Students must also have completed all prerequisites as requested. All prospective applicants may be subject to agency/organizational verification of employment. Any person who knowingly submits false registration information will be denied from attending the registered course and any future courses offered.

To register for a course provided by EMHSA or to see a current list of available courses, prospective students should visit the EMHSA training calendar above.

To register for an Ohio EMA course or to see a current list of available courses, a prospective student should visit the Ohio EMA training website, https://webeoctraining.dps.ohio.gov/TrainingAndExercise/courselist.aspx. Students may view the course listings without creating a profile, however when registering for a course, students must request a new user profile by emailing: [email protected] or calling the Department of Public Safety Training Campus (PSTC) Help Desk at (614) 752-6487. Once a profile is created students may log on to the training campus and register at: https://learning.dps.ohio.gov/PSTC/. Students experiencing difficulties accessing the website, creating an account or registering for training should call the PSTC Help Desk.

Course registration will generally close 7-10 working days prior to the course start date.

To allow a first come, first serve basis, agencies will no longer be able to make "blanket registrations." For example, an agency will not be permitted to request a certain amount slots without knowing who the attendees are prior to registration for a course. However, there is no capacity limit for an agency to submit for registration. If the requesting agency has all the attendee's registering information, they then will be allowed to submit as many registrations as they request.

Course Cancellation

It is EMHSA's intent to bring all courses that are promoted to the County. However, when the registration numbers are lower than the minimal threshold, the Instructing Agency may cancel the class. Attendance numbers are presented to the Instructing Agency 14 business days prior to start date of the course. If the Instructing Agency cancels a course, the Agency will contact those students via the applicant's registered contact information.

Eligibility

Most courses are available to anyone involved in emergency management, or response at the local, state, or federal levels. Other eligible attendees include policy makers, response partners, communications, hazardous materials, healthcare, and public works. Some courses may have a specific primary audience. In this case, secondary audiences will be considered, upon the availability of open seats.

Due to the sensitive topics of courses offered by EMHSA, students will be deemed ineligible for courses if they are a part of an active criminal investigation, in a probation period, or on parole.

Attendance Policy

EMHSA expects students to arrive on time and attend all sessions or blocks of instruction for the course. Selective attendance and late arrival is a deterrent to individual learning and a disruption to other students. EMHSA may dismiss students from the course for late arrival or any absence from the class. The EMHSA will not provide credit to students who do not attend a course in its entirety.

EMHSA will monitor student and organizational attendance. If an organization is found to have an attendance record below 70%, a formal letter will be sent to that organization. The organization collectively, may be put on a one-year probation from applying to courses facilitated by EMHSA at the Director's discretion.

Student No Shows

Most courses are offered at no cost to the student. However, these courses are funded through federal grants, and it takes considerable resources to plan and arrange logistics to bring courses to the County. When class attendance is less than the registration roster, it reflects poorly on the student, the student's organization, and the County. This puts EMHSA at risk of not being able to retain Instructing Agencies for future courses. If a student misses two classes without notifying the EMHSA Training & Exercise Specialist prior to the course start date, they will not be permitted to register for future courses without a written letter of support from the student's supervisor explaining the absences of the student.

Registration Cancellation

If you find that you cannot attend the course, notify the EMHSA Training & Exercise Specialist no later than two weeks prior to the start of class. If two weeks' notice is not possible, contact the Training & Exercise Specialist before 24 hours of the course start. Applicants who cancel within 24 hours of the start of class will be given the opportunity to submit documentation to the Training & Exercise Specialist for acceptable excusal. If no documentation is submitted within 72 hours of the last day of class, the student will be classified as a "No Show," thus Student No Show policies will be applied. Our goal is to ensure that all those wanting to attend training are afforded the opportunity and to let those individuals on the wait list fill available seats in a timely manner.

Student Conduct

EMHSA expects students to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times while in class. EMHSA may dismiss students from the course that engage in disruptive behavior or arrive in nonprofessional appearance (business casual or uniform). EMHSA may ban those in violation of this policy from attendance at any future trainings EMHSA facilitates. The EMHSA Director will have final discretion on such situations.

Conduct that is documented by regional training partners, Ohio EMA, or consortium agencies as inappropriate or disruptive, may be considered by the EMHSA Director as grounds to ban a student from enrollment in courses that are facilitated by EMHSA.

Student Classroom Accommodations

It is the goal of EMHSA to ensure that all students have the tools necessary to successfully complete the courses offered. If students require additional accommodations when attending trainings, they should let the EMHSA Training & Exercise Specialist know, in order to meet reasonable requests. If a course is offered by the Ohio EMA, OEMA can arrange to provide interpretation services. Students may elect to have tests read to them or arrange for extra time. All facilities that host trainings funded by Ohio EMA, are accessible by wheelchair.

If a student has a service animal, accommodations can be made for the student and their service animal. However, if the animal is not a service animal, or otherwise related to a documented medical need, the animal will not be permitted to enter. Students who bring a service animal should notify the EMHSA Training & Exercise Specialist prior to the start of the course.

Weapons in Class

Weapons of any type are not permitted in classrooms, unless the student is a sworn peace officer. For trainings held at the Regional Operations Center, sworn peace officers will need to show a badge and proper identification at the front desk when signing in.

Tobacco Use

Smoking and chewing tobacco in classrooms, regardless of location, is strictly prohibited.

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

Students are expected to be respectful of other students as well as the instructors. The use of cell phones and other electronic devices should be limited during class time. If a student must check emails or make phone calls they should excuse themselves from the class or use electronic devices during breaks. However, some classes will require the use of such devices as a learning tool.

Lodging and Meals

Meals, Per Diem, and all other travel expenses are the responsibility of the student or the parent organization. Refreshments are not a requirement by EMHSA in order to facilitate training. Students should bring refreshments in accordance with the hosting location's refreshments policies.

Training Records and Transcripts

EMHSA will maintain registrations, sign-in sheets, and certificates by trainings that are taught by Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency staff and partners. Attendance at all Ohio EMA courses is recorded in the Ohio EMA training database and records of all training, including course attendance rosters, are maintained on file for seven years. Students can access their transcript by logging on to the Department of Public Safety Training Campus website and accessing the transcript link. Students may also request a copy of their transcript by sending a written request to the Ohio EMA training section. National Domestic Preparedness Consortium agencies will issue certificates to students via the student's registered contact information. Students who wish to receive transcripts or certificates will need to contact the Instructing Agency.

Types of Courses

There are a number of different prefaces that identify trainings offered. A breakdown of courses offered are:

  • AWR - Awareness level training offered by consortium partners.
  • E - Resident courses held at the EMI National Emergency Training Campus.
  • G - FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) courses offered in a classroom setting.
  • IS - Independent study FEMA courses available online: https://training.fema.gov/is/crslist.aspx.
  • L - A mobile delivery of an EMI course that is locates away from the EMI campus and taught by FEMA Certified Instructors.
  • MGT - Management level training offered by consortium partners.
  • OH - Courses that are tailored to the state of Ohio.
  • PER - Performance level courses for those who perform tasks during the initial response to a certain incident.