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Programs and Services > Training & Certification Program

Training And Certification Program

The Training Division provides public education, professional development training, and technical training to public safety volunteers from state government and local communities across the commonwealth.

It also administers a statewide Emergency Exercise Program and oversees the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Coordinator certification program.

Public Education includes public safety advisories, press releases, and seminars aimed at specific audiences like elected officials' conferences.

Technical training provided by PEMA deals primarily with radiological defense or Nuclear-Biological-Chemical subjects.

Professional Development training is provided for all members of the public safety community and includes one-day and multi-day classes on topics that help the emergency volunteer or professional to better do his or her job.

Pennsylvania law requires that the emergency management coordinator at each level of government earn two levels of certification. A large part of the certification involves completing training offered by PEMA or the Federal Emergency Management Institute.

To maintain the proficiency of its staff and to keep its procedures current, every emergency management agency should conduct regular exercises.


PEMA's mission is to train state, county, and municipal public safety personnel and to increase public awareness of hazards in the commonwealth by providing quality classes, seminars and exercises.

PEMA Courses

PEMA offers a wide variety of courses tailored to fit the ever-expanding role of public safety.  Course offerings range from the professional development series to radiological to terrorism.  There are a number of new courses including the following:  Basic Public Information, Debris Management, Scene Preservation, as well as new levels of incident command courses.  A course announcement for each course will be sent to every county emergency management office and state agency 60 days prior to the course.  It will provide greater detail on the course content and the amenities provided.  Changes, as well as original course information, will also be listed on the PEMA website.


If a course requires a prerequisites, a copy of the certificates of the prerequisite courses must be attached to the student's course application.  If registration is done on-line, please send a copy of the prerequisite certificate to the State Training Officer in advance of the class start date.  Applications for courses requiring prerequisites will NOT be accepted without prerequisite proof.


Space in most of our classes is limited which requires waiting lists of applicants to be formed.  For this reason, we have a strict "no-show" policy. 

Students who have been accepted for a class and then fail to attend without notification to the State Training Officer or Program Manager will be considered last for acceptance into future classes for a period of six months. 

A second infraction will bar the person from all classes for six months.  Please try to notify this office within 48 hours of the class for cancellation.

Student Equipment

All students should bring note-taking materials notebook and pen/pencil with them to class.  Additional requirements for the classes will be so stated in the course announcements.

Continuing Education Units

Currently, most of the PEMA training courses have Continuing Education Units CEUs available through one or all of the following:  Indiana University of Pennsylvania IUP, Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Coroners' Association, and Pennsylvania Department of Education.  We are continuing to work with the Funeral Directors' Association and hope to have CEUs available by the end of this year.

Enrollment and Tuition Charges

Enrollment in PEMA courses is open to anyone with an interest in public safety who is over the age of 18 years.  There is no tuition charge for any of the courses.  The majority of our courses have on-line registration. 

If a class does not allow on-line registration, attendees should pre-register for each course by printing out the PEMA Course Application.  Please be sure to fill out the application completely. 

Submit your completed registration form to the appropriate county emergency management office.  Your confirmation will be handled by e-mail for most courses.

Our Training Partners

Community College of Beaver County www.ccbc.edu
Berks County Fire Training Center www.co.berks.pa.us/fire
Chester County Emergency Services dsf.chesco.org
Community College of Allegheny County www.ccac.edu
The Delaware County Emergency Services Training Center www.delcoestc.org
Harrisburg Area Community College www.hacc.edu
Lehigh Carbon Community College www.lccc.edu
Luzerne County Community College www.luzerne.edu
Northampton Community College www.northampton.edu
Reading Area Community College www.racc.edu
Westmoreland County Community College www.wccc.edu
Allegheny County Fire Academy www.county.allegheny.pa.us/emerserv/fireacad
Bucks County Community College www.bucks.edu/publicsafety
Butler County Community College www.bc3.edu/publicsafety/fire.asp
Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County www.ctclc.edu
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center www.gjctc.tec.pa.us
IUP Criminal Justice Training Programs www.iup.edu/crimjustice
Montgomery County Fire Academy www.dps.montcopa.org/dps
Montgomery County Community College  www.mc3.edu  
Public Safety Institute Mercyhurst College www.mercyhurst.edu
Temple Criminal Justice Training Programs www.temple.edu/cjtp

For more information contact:
Name:  PEMA Training
Email:  ra-pematrainingofficer@pa.gov