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Be the one keeping communities safe by planning, preparing and responding to disasters and emergencies.



Emergency Management is a dynamic and growing field. As the number and severity of emergencies and disasters grow, so too does the need for professionals with the knowledge and applied skills to help keep communities safe.

Emergency managers play a key role in helping communities and organizations plan, prepare and respond to critical incidents of all sizes. They work in many fields, helping businesses, cities, rural and Indigenous communities, or serve with an international organization like the United Nations or Red Cross.

They are called by many names and serve diverse roles: business continuity manager, emergency preparedness manager, emergency response coordinator, disaster management specialist, resiliency officer. While each job has its own specialty, they serve a similar purpose: keep their community or organization safe in the event of an emergency. Their expertise is in great demand at the local, national and international levels.



The career prospects in the emergency management field are fairly strong in this growing field. Job opportunities will be steady as many current professionals will be approaching retirement and the sector itself will grow over the next decade. Career opportunities are available in local, national and international markets. Applicants willing to relocate to pursue opportunities will have the most opportunities.



  • Clear and effective verbal and written communication skills

  • Ability to develop positive relationships with diverse stakeholders

  • Ability to work under minimal supervision in stressful situations

  • Strong computer, office and project management skills


  • Knowledge of emergency management, usually gained through formal education and training

  • Relevant experience in a related emergency management activity, such as volunteering with community Emergency Support Services or a local Search and Rescue team



Explore programs in this area of study

Emergency Support Services (ESS)

Emergency Support Services (ESS)

If your organization requires a team with the applied knowledge and tools to help provide services and support for those affected by an…

Emergency & Security Management (BESMS)

Emergency & Security Management (BESMS)

Progress and become a leader in the growing emergency, disaster and security management fields with this online degree program that is the first…

Emergency & Security Management

Emergency & Security Management

Designed for mid-career professionals in public safety and related fields who want to succeed in emergency management, this applied program…
Emergency Management

For high school and university graduates, and professionals working in emergency management or public safety roles, if you want to obtain…
Disaster Management (PBDDM)

If you have a bachelor's degree and are interested in pursuing and advancing your career in the fields of disaster and emergency management,…

Emergency Management Exercise Design

Emergency Management Exercise Design

For experienced professionals interested in obtaining the skills and understanding to prepare, develop and deliver emergency training exercises,…
BESMS student Tara Stroup presented on her capstone project on addressing the needs of people with mobility issues as part of emergency preparedness.

Be the one keeping communities safe

A major fire was burning at a strip mall in the downtown area of Port Coquitlam. Senior city staff were arriving to take their posts at the city’s emergency operations centre.

Hitoshi Igarashi recently completed course work in New Westminster as part of JIBC’s Emergency Management Certificate program. He hopes to adopt elements of the North American system of disaster response in Japan and other countries that he works with through the Community Emergency Management Institute of Japan.


Hitoshi Igarashi is no stranger to natural disasters. From the 2011 Fukushima incident and the Tohoku tsunami that followed in Japan to Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines and numerous disasters in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, he’s seen it all.

Melodie Hutmacher is now working in her dream job in emergency management after learning of the growing field and completing JIBC’s Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies program.


A few years ago, Melodie Hutmacher was searching for a career where she could make a difference. She found it at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

Today, Melodie is working in her dream job in emergency management helping to keep communities safe. 

Kevin Skrepnek, the chief fire information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, recently completed a Certificate in Emergency Management at JIBC to get a better understanding of the industry for which he’s now a spokesperson.


For several years now, Kevin Skrepnek has been the face of the BC Wildfire Service during the summer wildfire season.

As chief fire information officer, he serves as the spokesperson for the service ensuring the public receives critical safety information when they need it most.