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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/HB 1567 — Qualifications for County Emergency Management Directors

by State Affairs Committee; Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee; and Rep. Grant and others (CS/CS/SB 1262 by Rules Committee; Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee; and Senator Collins)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee (MS)

The bill establishes minimum training, experience, and education standards for all county emergency management directors, including the following:

  • Fifty hours of training in business or public administration, business or public management, or emergency management or preparedness. A bachelor’s degree may be substituted for this training requirement.
  • Four years of specified experience in comprehensive emergency management services with direct supervisory responsibility for responding to at least one emergency or disaster. A master’s degree in certain fields may be substituted for 2 years of the required experience but not for the required supervisory experience. Alternatively, certain professional accreditation may substitute for the required experience if the certification remains in good standing until the actual time and experience requirements are met.
  • Completion of 150 hours in comprehensive emergency management training provided through or approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or its successor, including completion of certain National Incident Management System courses, or equivalent FEMA courses through the Emergency Management Institute. A county emergency management director must have completed this training within the 10 years preceding the date of initial appointment or reappointment.

The bill provides that a county emergency management director who does not satisfy these training or certification requirements will have until June 30, 2026, to meet the new criteria.

The bill also requires that a county emergency management director have a valid driver license, and if the license is not a Florida driver license, the director must obtain a Florida driver license within 30 days after being appointed.

If approved by the Governor, or allowed to become law without the Governor’s signature, these provisions take effect July 1, 2024.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 113-1