City leaders to attend FEMA training, continuing investment in emergency preparedness

March 12, 2024

Mayor Jacob Frey, Community Safety Commissioner Toddrick Barnette, City Operations Officer Margaret Anderson Kelliher, City Attorney Kristyn Anderson, and several other City leaders and staff will be participating in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in Emmitsburg, MD next week. 

The IEMC course will be held on the EMI campus from March 18-21, 2024. All exercise development, travel and lodging expenses are provided on campus and are covered by FEMA. This IEMC course is the final exercise capping more than a year of emergency preparedness and response training for City leaders and staff. 

Minneapolis was invited by FEMA and will be one of only four municipalities this year participating in the federally funded IEMC, a culmination of the City’s National Incident Management System (NIMS) Reset Project. The project has been a series of exercises and trainings overseen by the City’s Emergency Management Department within the Office of Community Safety, aimed at improving the City’s emergency response protocols. The course will include controlled exercises that test the City’s progress and proficiency in responding to an emergency utilizing the NIMS concepts - a uniform, national approach for all levels of government and community groups to work together during significant incidents or crises.  

In February 2021, Mayor Frey and the City initiated an after-action review of the City’s emergency preparedness following the civil unrest that ensued after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. The final After-Action Report (AAR) delivered to the City in early 2022 offered 27 recommendations for improvement. Various City departments have been working on these recommendations, which range from community engagement to restructuring command staff to reviewing tactical situational approaches. City leaders have been reporting progress during regular presentations to the City Council and gave an update on the overall work  last year. 

Since the NIMS training began in January 2023, City leaders and staff have completed 11 exercises and 29 courses, totaling 578 training and exercise hours.  

"Rebuilding trust between the community and the City relies on taking informed action – and we have been doing just that,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Since receiving the AAR recommendations, the City has been hard at work resetting our emergency plans and ensuring that staff at every level are trained on the same protocols and speaking the same language. A huge thank you to the Office of Community Safety staff, especially in the Emergency Management Department, who have been championing this work every day over the past few years. Minneapolis remains committed to maintaining the highest level of emergency preparedness, and you can hold me to that.” 

“Reaching this point is an important step in ensuring that we don’t make the same missteps from the past,” said Community Safety Commissioner Toddrick Barnette. “I truly appreciate FEMA’s support and I am pleased that FEMA has recognized the hard work put into this by Interim Director Gorman’s staff and the commitment shown by everyone taking part in the training. It is important to know, understand and be able to implement this system.” 

“The City of Minneapolis has worked diligently to better understand and implement the National Incident Management System over the last 18 months,” said Interim Emergency Management Director Bryan Gorman. “There is no better opportunity to demonstrate our capability than an Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. We will work together as a team to respond to the presented scenario and take away learnings for future growth.”  

When the City delegation returns from the IEMC, leaders and staff will take what they learned and apply it to preparedness plans and procedures in place. FEMA will also be providing a final review of the City’s completion of the IEMC training within 90 days. The City will provide a full update on its emergency preparedness later this summer.