Professionalization of EM in Maine

by Emily Kaster

I am proud to share my thesis, “Are We There Yet? Exploring Professionalization of Emergency Management in the State of Maine” which is now available in the Homeland Security Digital Library. You can access the thesis (and hundreds of other interesting studies) here:

My thesis research would not have been possible without community participation. I’m grateful for the interview participants who represented MALEM, the Maine Emergency Management County Director’s Council, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency. I’m very appreciative of the time and effort of 92 public-sector emergency managers in Maine who contributed to the survey segment of the research. 

I am sharing this thesis with MALEM membership for three reasons:

  1. To stimulate discussion and reflection. What does it mean to be an emergency manager? How can emergency managers advocate for the profession in Maine? I hope this thesis will spur reflection, conversation and debates. Several of my research findings were items I’ve heard discussed often, but perhaps hadn’t been documented yet. For example, many emergency managers in Maine are wearing multiple hats. 
  2. Professional associations like MALEM are critical to the advancement of emergency management. Whether you are a seasoned emergency manager, or someone looking to break into the field, MALEM provides the forum to network with and support our colleagues, strategize and collaborate on shared solutions to state-wide challenges, and pave the way for future generations of emergency managers. My thesis recommendations advocate for professional associations as a cornerstone for professionalizing emergency management in Maine. 
  3. To raise awareness of the fantastic (and free!) resources available through the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS). CHDS offers academic programs for professionals early in their career and those who are tenured executives. In addition, CHDS publishes the Homeland Security Affairs Journal, curates the Homeland Security Digital Library, and continuously updates a catalog of self-study courses. Check out the plethora of resources, and connect with me if you are interested in learning more about my studies completed through the Master’s Degree program. 

Thank you for the important work you do as community emergency managers.