FEMA Local Hires Supporting Disaster Recovery Efforts in Oregon

SALEM, OR (STL.News) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) team working with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to help communities recover from winter and spring storms has expanded its staff to include 11 new employees from the Salem and Eugene areas.

“These FEMA jobs are a win for everyone. Oregonians interested in emergency management get on-the-job training while earning a salary, and FEMA gets valuable local knowledge and a unique perspective on their operations in our state,” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps.  “Moreover, Oregon benefits by expanding its base of trained emergency management professionals.”

OEM and FEMA are working to assist eligible local and tribal governments as well as certain private nonprofit organizations in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Umatilla and Wheeler counties that were affected by severe winter storms in February and/or spring storms in April.

The 11 temporary, full-time positions filled by local hires in Oregon include trainees in FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program, as well as in information technology and logistics.  They receive introductory disaster recovery training and become an integral part of the recovery effort.  Local hires brought into the PA program will help the communities that are working to restore damaged or destroyed public infrastructure in the designated disaster areas.

“Our goal is to provide our local hires with the tools for success and to encourage them to pursue careers in disaster response and recovery with FEMA,” said Rosalyn L. Cole, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer in Oregon.  “With the experience they are gaining in this first assignment, they could go on to assist disaster-affected communities across the nation.”

The positions were posted on USAJobs.gov and announced through a variety of sources.  The term of employment is up to 120 days, with the possibility of extension based on the needs of the recovery mission.

“Hiring a portion – in this case 18 percent – of the 60-member Oregon recovery team locally is one way FEMA contributes to the area’s economy as we help communities recover from the storms,” said Cole.