By: Ashlie Lynn Chandler, DR-4086-NJ
The Disaster Field Training unit located in the New Jersey Joint Field Office recently trained more than 300 coach evaluators to support the new FEMA Qualification System, otherwise known as FQS.
The certified coach evaluators play an integral role in guiding trainees through the qualification process, validating a trainee’s successful completion of experience in job tasks.
“With 343 trainees in New Jersey supporting recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy, we are approaching a one-to-one ratio of evaluators to trainees,” said Michael Kundu, FEMA Incident Workforce Management Office liaison.
FQS improves the agency’s disaster response and recovery capability by providing personnel with the training and experience needed to assume positions of progressively greater responsibility.
A trainee’s work performance is assessed by a certified coach evaluator and their progress is recorded in a position task book. Listed in the task book are the critical behaviors, activities and tasks required to become qualified in a FEMA incident management or incident support position.
“A coach evaluator plays as strong a mentor role as he or she does an evaluator,” said Kundu. “This is a key philosophical approach in FQS.”
Judy Travis is a FEMA reservist and certified coach evaluator. As the Applicant Services Crew Leader for Individual Assistance at a Jersey City disaster recovery center, she has mentored four IA trainees.
“It’s important to get to know each trainee individually,” Travis said. “I sit down with each person and we go through the task book together to discuss the objectives and job duties. I want to make sure that each survivor gets exactly what they are entitled to, and that starts as soon as they walk in those doors and they sit down with a qualified applicant services program specialist.”
“Having a mentor present in the recovery center with me, in the same room as me, sitting right next to me is very beneficial,” said Carl Dailey, trainee. “My coach evaluator is there to work with me, talk me through the process and suggest appropriate training classes.”
For more information, visit FEMA.gov/fema-qualification-system.