Preparing for a Career in Emergency Management in Ontario Blog Header Blog Header

Fires, floods and earthquakes. Epidemics and pandemics. Terrorist attacks. Environmental catastrophes. In a world where daily events are becoming ever more volatile and unpredictable, there is a greater need than ever before for skilled emergency management professionals. Wilfrid Laurier University offers two professional credential options for those who wish to establish a career trajectory within this exciting and demanding field. You can choose from a Master of Public Safety with a specialization in Emergency Management or an Emergency Management Graduate Diploma. Both options are designed for active working professionals and completed 100% online.

Is there a demand for emergency management?
Did you know Canada is warming up at twice the global rate? The effects are extreme weather and increased likelihood of natural disasters. Emergency management professionals are needed to help combat the impact of global warming.  

Everybody has a question. Are you curious about how Wilfrid Laurier University can help your career? Get in touch with us today so we can answer your questions!

Ten Principles of Public Safety

Ten years ago the federal, provincial, and territorial governments (FPT) of Canada developed a guide to ensure the unification and efficient use of emergency management responses and resources. The Emergency Management Framework for Canada was founded on the following ten Principles of Public Safety, each of which will impact and inform the day-to-day decisions and responsibilities of an emergency manager working in Ontario:

1. Responsibility: Observation of and compliance with all legal and policy frameworks to ensure due diligence across all levels of government.

2. Comprehensiveness: A proactive, integrative, and balanced approach to emergency management initiatives among federal, provincial and territorial governing bodies.

3. Partnerships: Collaboration, coordination and communication among all Canadians and entities involved in emergency management, including but not limited to individual citizens, volunteers, government officials, Aboriginal peoples, private sector entities and academic institutions.

4. Coherency of Action: Clearly defined roles, responsibilities, authorities and capacities that help to ensure the most effective use of resources and coordination of activities.

5. Risk-Based Assessment/Action: Minimizing the likelihood of emergencies or disasters by assessing the vulnerabilities of potential hazards and implementing prevention/mitigation actions tailored to address particular environments.

6. All-Hazards Responsiveness: The ability to address hazards and disasters arising from both natural and human causes to more effectively reduce vulnerabilities of people, property, the environment and the economy.

7. Resilience: The ability of a system, community or society to adapt to, recover from and learn from emergencies through the empowerment and shared responsibility of those affected.

8. Effective Communication: Educating and alerting the public regarding potential and imminent disasters and establishing a strong network for communications during and directly after a disaster.

9. Continuous Improvement: A systematic approach to gathering and examining information in the course of an emergency event in order to implement and share improved practices.

10. Ethics: Emergency management decisions made according to a strict code of ethics and values that accept the primacy of human life and dignity, while also taking into account the potential impact of events on the environment, property and the economy.

Many Emergency Management Opportunities Exist in Ontario at Multiple Levels

Here in Ontario and around the globe, the demand for professionals with the training and skills to help individuals and businesses safely and successfully navigate their way through emergencies and other catastrophic events is expected to continue to increase dramatically.

From snipers, bomb threats, and fire and flood-driven evacuations to flu outbreaks, terrorist attacks and catastrophic climate events, the diversity of locations and unique scenarios where emergency management expertise may be needed is virtually unlimited and continues to grow. Emergency management jobs in Ontario are plentiful in all levels of government, as well as in non-profit and private organizations. In addition to large corporations, manufacturing and industrial facilities, emergency managers can also find roles in firms specializing in business consulting and operational continuity. A full-time schedule is the norm, with a commitment to particularly long hours and 24/7 availability becoming the expectation for the duration of active emergency situations.

No two career paths are alike in the emerging field of emergency management. A recent job board search reveals thousands of related employment opportunities currently available in Ontario, including:

  • Resuscitation Program Support with the Emergency Preparedness Department of a major Toronto hospital
  • Operations Officer with the Canadian Coast Guard
  • Assembly of First Nations Emergency Management Services Coordinator
  • Fire and emergency analyst with a large Toronto consulting firm
  • Manager of Enterprise Crisis Management for eHealth Ontario

An emergency manager’s responsibilities are divided between office and field work. In addition to developing emergency response plans, procedures, and public awareness/education programs, they are required to communicate regularly with emergency responders and professionals, government officials and members of volunteer networks. Participation in projects, committees, and working groups is interspersed with the preparation of incident briefs, reports, and budgets. Field work is carried out in an ever-changing succession of locations ranging from remote wilderness to urban environments. Outside of the office, an emergency manager delivers public awareness and education programs, recruits and trains volunteers, and oversees and evaluates mock incidents and exercises, in addition to directing operations during actual emergencies.

Build a Career in Public Safety

Participants in Laurier’s online Master of Public Safety or Emergency Management Graduate Diploma programs will learn to identify, and create strategies for minimizing the impact of emergencies on the environment, property, the economy and, most importantly, people. They will be equipped with the skills and tools to develop, implement, and direct the emergency operations and programs of businesses and other entities according to five main elements of emergency planning:

1. Preparedness

2. Prevention

3. Mitigation

4. Response

5. Recovery

Designed by safety professionals to align with the principles and initiatives of Public Safety Canada, the course curriculum will prepare graduates to excel in any of the rapidly growing number of available emergency management jobs in Ontario. Flexible and fluid, these 100% online programs can be completed concurrently with full-time employment in just over a year, opening up a world of additional possibilities and assuring the relevance of and continued demand for participants within their existing field or specialty.

Follow this link to learn more about how Laurier’s fast, flexible, and multi-faceted Master of Public Safety or Graduate Diploma in Emergency Management Program can equip you with the tools and expertise to take your career to the next level as you experience the challenges, rewards, and endless possibilities that accompany emergency management jobs in Ontario.