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Courtesy Photo

From left, Michael J. Sharon, deputy superintendent Emergency Management Institute; Director Doug Goolsby; and Michael Todorovich, director of West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; pose for a photo after the completion of the first ever National Emergency Management Basic Academy in Flatwoods, W.Va. 

CHARLESTON –  Thirty-eight staff from West Virginia’s State and County Emergency Management agencies recently graduated from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Emergency Management Basic Academy in Flatwoods.

The graduation marks the completion of the first-ever Basic Academy to be hosted in West Virginia.

The Basic Academy training is offered by the FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Similar to basic academies operated by the fire service and law enforcement, the National Emergency Management Basic Academy was created to produce a comprehensive curriculum providing the foundational knowledge and skills needed to support the unpredictable challenges in the field of Emergency Management.

Consisting of 152 classroom hours and six prerequisite independent study courses, the Basic Academy provides a training experience combining knowledge of all systems, concepts and practices of cutting-edge Emergency Management.

Mingo County’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security / 911 Director Doug Goolsby was one of the 38 who completed the course. Goolsby said he completed the program to strengthen emergency services in Mingo County and the State of West Virginia. During the course he also received his instructor apprenticeship to instruct others in this program in the future.

“It takes special men and women to do the job you do,” said keynote speaker and DHSEM Director Mike Todorovich. “By completing this course, you reinforce the qualities needed to respond to disasters, including the sacrifice of time away from your families necessary to manage emergencies across West Virginia.”

Mike Sharon, EMI deputy superintendent, was on hand to award each graduate with a certificate of completion. He congratulated West Virginia on building a culture of preparedness and helping ready the nation for catastrophic disasters.

“Most catastrophes are at the local level, and your work to build capabilities is a vital contribution to emergency response for your community, your state and your nation,” Sharon said.

To find out more about EMI and emergency management training, visit https://training.FEMA.gov/EMI.