Emergency response professional kick off first of it's kind training symposium in St. Johns County

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Floridians are now preparing for the heart of hurricane season, and that includes the state’s emergency management professionals.


About 500 professionals working in the public and private emergency management space are meeting in St. Johns County this week for the first annual Training for Emergency Management Symposium.

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Action News Jax spoke exclusively with Florida’s Director of Emergency Management Kevin Guthrie about the first-ever training event, which kicked off Monday.

Guthrie explained nearly 50 individual courses will be offered throughout the week at the World Golf Village Convention Center on topics ranging from damage assessments post-disaster to media relations for rural counties.

“Making sure that we have the broad spectrum of training at a foundational, basic, intermediate, advanced and executive level is very, very important to build out all of the capabilities and capacities that we need to service the residents that we serve here in the State of Florida,” said Guthrie.

Guthrie said the Division of Emergency Management surveyed the emergency response community to help pick topics for the training courses.

RELATED: Download the 2024 Action News Jax First Alert Weather Hurricane Preparation Guide

Leadership training was the number one request.

“Our theme is ‘leading from the trenches’. We’re trying to delegate that all the way down. So, the benefit for disaster survivors in the future is gonna be, not that an individual might have to go up three, four, five layers to get the answer to a question, but actually make those decisions in the field in real time,” said Guthrie.

And as emergency professionals make their preparations for what is expected to be an extremely active hurricane season, Guthrie also urged residents to get ready.

“So, we’re doing the things that we need to do to plan, prepare and get ready to go. We now need the homeowners to do that themselves,” said Guthrie.

You can find more information on how to prepare yourself and your family for hurricane season by clicking HERE.

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