Parish Emergency Management Officials Certified by State Organization

Allison B. Hudson

Two officials with the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness each received Louisiana Emergency Manager certifications during the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association conference on May 28.

Both Crystal Moran, operations section chief and Rachael Wilkinson, grants coordinator and documentation unit leader with OHSEP received their certifications following four months of intensive training that included two separate programs.

“I’m extremely proud of Crystal’s and Rachael’s achievements,” said Rick Webre, director of the parish’s OHSEP. “They really worked hard for their emergency manager certifications.”

First, Moran and Wilkinson each had to complete the Command College Fundamental Program, a pilot program put on by LSU’s Stephenson’s Disaster Management Institute and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP). This joint program included the Foundational Homeland Security and Emergency Management Certification.

“The class included staff members and some directors from OEP’s all over the state,” Wilkinson said. “It was good to be surrounded by local support as we went through the training, and it was a good opportunity for us to learn from each other.”

Moran and Wilkinson had to pass 17 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved courses which included independent study, as well as classroom study. The classroom courses were offered at the GOHSEP Baton Rouge complex.

To complete that program, each had to pass a foundational capstone exercise, which Wilkinson called a comprehensive exercise during a mock disaster. This was followed by a written exam.

Following the completion of the Command College Fundamental Program, Moran and Wilkinson then took and completed courses offered by the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA) including 15.3 hours of continuing education credits and 19 college credits.

With the completion of the credits and written exam, they then received their Louisiana Emergency Management Certifications.

“Getting this certification not only involved very comprehensive training, but also qualified Rachael and myself to manage emergency events statewide,” Moran said. “Plus, it really enhances our knowledge and capabilities on a local level.”