The Chester County Department of Emergency Services received confirmation that it remains nationally accredited by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) for a further five year period. Chester County was the first county in the state to achieve full accreditation for its emergency management program in 2014.
Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline said, “Chester County’s position as the first county in the state to receive accreditation from EMAP five years ago reinforces the tremendous importance that we place on public safety, and our Director of Emergency Services, Mike Murphy, and his team have done a great job in maintaining this recognition.”
EMAP is the only accreditation process for emergency management programs in the nation and recognizes the ability of emergency management programs to bring together personnel, resources and communications from a variety of agencies and organizations in preparation for, and in response to an emergency. The proven ability to measure these capabilities is also a key part of the EMAP accreditation.
“The men and women in our Department of Emergency Services continually demonstrate their ability to help all Chester County residents who are in need,” noted County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “They are especially focused on coordination of the many resources it takes to ensure citizens’ safety in the event of a major emergency, and continually review, practice and refine the program.”
The EMAP process evaluates emergency management programs on compliance with requirements in 16 areas including planning, resource management, training, exercises, evaluations and corrective actions, and communications and warnings.
Commissioner Terence Farrell commented, “Earning – and maintaining – this accreditation validates the exceptional work of all staff in the Department of Emergency Services, as well as the 5,000-plus first responders throughout the County.”
To maintain accreditation, Chester County had to once again demonstrate through self-assessment, documentation and peer assessment verification that its program meets the Emergency Management Standard set forth by EMAP.
Chester County Director of Emergency Services Mike Murphy stated, “Receiving initial accreditation by EMAP was a significant achievement by our Emergency Management Division, and the steps taken to maintain accreditation are just as substantial.
“The Emergency Management Division staff worked tirelessly over the past five years to maintain the initial accreditation and prepare for re-accreditation. Specifically Emergency Management Division staff Andrew Thurston and Thaddeus Kavanagh spent a tremendous amount of time as our Program Accreditation Managers. By achieving re-accreditation we have demonstrated discipline and accountability in regularly reviewing, maintaining and documenting compliance with standards and best practices, and have proven yet again that Chester County has an exceptional Emergency Management Program.”