“Today is a pinnacle of achievement for Pinal County Emergency Management,” Director Miranda said. “Normally the emergency management director achieves this level, but this is the first time an entire department can say they have completed the courses to achieve certification.”
To complete the FEMA Advanced Professional Series, a student must successfully pass five required courses in emergency management and five elective courses. These high-level classes normally take up to two years to finish, based upon the availability of the courses.
“This is the highest level of training for emergency management from FEMA and they are the first emergency management department across the state to have everyone complete this program,” said John Dirickson, Arizona Division of Emergency Management’s Assistant Director of Preparedness. “I am a resident of Pinal County and can say that I feel more comfortable knowing how well trained everyone is in this emergency management department.”
Director Lou Miranda, Mike Simpson, Art Carlton, Candace McDonald and Ernie Appel each completed the Advanced Professional Series course to obtain this certification. Frank Reed also completed the certification but was not present Wednesday to receive his certificate.
“When an emergency occurs, the citizens of Pinal County can be assured that the incident will be managed by highly-trained emergency management practitioners,” Miranda said.
Pinal County Emergency Management serves as the lead coordinating agency for emergency response and recovery when incidents such as hazmat spills, flooding, disasters, major accidents, wildfires or other unplanned events occur in unincorporated Pinal County. They come to the aid of cities and towns in Pinal County if an incident exceeds the local jurisdiction’s ability to manage and respond to the events.
Pinal County Emergency Management Director Lou Miranda was requested to assist with the Wallow Fire in northern Arizona and spent several weeks helping with all aspects of wildfire incident management and recovery.