ARE WE THERE YET? EXPLORING PROFESSIONALIZATION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN THE STATE OF MAINE
Kaster, Emily E.
Brown, Shannon A.
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Practitioners and academics have discussed emergency management's status as a profession for decades. This thesis analyzes the degree of professionalization of emergency management in Maine and provides recommendations to improve it. Review of state legislation and key documents, coupled with interviews of emergency management leaders, contributed to an assessment of professionalization in Maine. Public-sector emergency managers completed a survey developed using Richard Hall's attitudinal attributes of a profession published in "Professionalization and Bureaucratization" in the American Sociological Review in 1968. The survey's 92 responses highlighted high regard for professional organizations, support for continuing competence and a sense of calling to the work; however, responses on self-regulation, autonomy, sense of public service and professionalization in Maine indicate emergency management has not reached status as a profession yet. The presence of professional associations and the availability of training/schools of practice demonstrate growth in the profession, but full-time jobs, a code of ethics and legislation are lacking in Maine. This research continues the academic discussion on professionalization by providing recommendations to rural states to strengthen the profession of emergency management in order to meet future challenges in disaster response.
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