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Partnerships Matter, So We Need to Train That Way

How important are relationships in the emergency management world? Incident management personnel of the future must learn how to focus on building collaborative partnerships across all pieces of emergency management, including the private sector, businesses, public entities, universities, volunteer groups, and many others.

We cannot be effective if we work in a vacuum. We need to train with relationship building in mind. Part of my experience in the EM field has been with volunteer organizations and the truth is, I have had some unfortunate experiences working with other emergency management partners. This generally comes through a perceived disrespect of what we bring to the table, or a misunderstanding of our abilities. This makes for some pretty tense meetings and unfortunately things can’t not really get done, leaving those in need without assistance. We need to do a better job of working in unison, and training future emergency managers that way.

There must also be an emphasis on the building and sustaining of strong community relationships. This requires continuing education of the public and private partners that are so essential to resiliency and response. Without it, we are destined to fight among ourselves, ultimately separating into a hierarchy.

We are so much better when we work as a team. Do not forget that ultimately, we are all attempting to save lives and stabilize emergency situations. Without these objectives at the forefront, and an understanding that we cannot do it alone, we will not be successful.

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