Jones receives rare certification from GEMA

Coweta County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Jay Jones has received a certification that few possess. Jones recently completed a wealth of required work that has landed him the Georgia Professional Emergency Manager certification. The certification was presented to Jones by Ga. Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) Chief of Operations Charlie Dawson at the Jan. 15 meeting of the Coweta County Commission.

Dawson in his remarks to commissioners said Jones is one of a small number of EMA personnel statewide to attain the level of training required to receive the professional certification.

“This is a level of certification that is extremely difficult to attain and very rare. Less than 100 people have attained this level of training and experience,” said Dawson. “Coweta County residents can take pride in the level of professional preparedness and commitment that their EMA director has shown.”

Though his words were brief, Jones after the presentation thanked the County Commission and Coweta residents for their support.

“We’re mighty proud of you, Jay,” Chairman Bob Blackburn said in response.

Dawson said the Ga. Professional Emergency Manager certification requires a wealth of effort.

“The requirements for the certification are rigorous and include nearly 30 special courses including independent field study, field-delivered courses and resident courses taught at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth,” Dawson said. “They cover a wide range of specialties and disciplines including incident command, hazardous materials, hazardous weather preparedness, crash extrication and exercise design.”

The certification also requires at least five years in the emergency management profession along with contributions through teaching, research and community involvement or published articles, Dawson said. Beyond those requirements, the emergency manager to become certified must obtain 150 hours of continuing education and must have managed at least one full-scale emergency exercise, Dawson added.

Jones has 25 years in public safety and has served for four years as director of the Coweta County Emergency Management Agency.

“It is clear that having a professional of this caliber make the county safer,” said Dawson.