Governor Abbott Celebrates Inaugural Class Of Texas Emergency Management Academy Cadets

March 24, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today celebrated the graduation of the Texas Emergency Management Academy's inaugural class of cadets at the Texas Capitol in Austin. During a graduation ceremony held in the Capitol's auditorium, the Governor thanked the 17 new cadets for choosing to serve their state and highlighted their importance to the people of Texas during times of disaster.

"There will be disasters that arise in ways that you will not anticipate," said Governor Abbott. "You will not know when, where, or how a disaster will occur. There's one thing you've got to keep at the forefront of your mind: the people you're helping. When I was out jogging and that big tree fell on me, I was one of those people in an emergency needing help. I know what it's like for our fellow Texans who are suffering, in pain, and need your help—and I know what it's like to receive that help. We owe it to our fellow Texans to give them speed, accuracy, the highest level of professionalism, and compassion. Thank you for your service and congratulations on your accomplishments and for being the very first set of cadets to graduate from this academy." 

The Governor was joined at the graduation ceremony by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd, and other state and emergency management officials. 

The Texas Emergency Management Academy, a first-of-its-kind program in the nation operated by TDEM, comprehensively trains the next generation of the emergency management workforce in all phases of emergency management including preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation.

“This innovative Academy will change emergency management in Texas and across the nation, positively impacting the ways we protect life and property during disasters,” said Chief Kidd. “I am so proud of this first group of cadets for completing this intensive, eight-month course curriculum, to prepare them for careers in emergency management. I look forward to working with these driven individuals as we implement their professional development and as they serve Texas communities in their new roles at TDEM.”

"I am honored to be here today at this history-making event with the first class ever graduated from this type of program in the history of the United States," said Chancellor Sharp. "This is happening today because of Governor Abbott."

Successful graduates of the eight-month Texas Emergency Management Academy ascertain basic knowledge of emergency management planning, disaster finance, wildland firefighting, ambulance staging, Emergency Operations Center response management, hazard mitigation, risk assessments, disaster recovery, resource requests, operations technology, volunteer management, private sector partnerships, and other key aspects of emergency management. Academy graduates earn multiple nationally-recognized emergency management certifications, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Professional Development Series, FEMA's Advanced Professional Series, FEMA’s Continuity Excellence Series Level I Professional Continuity Practitioner program, and the National Emergency Management Basic Academy. Graduates also leave The Academy as certified basic emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and achieved National Registry Certification upon successful completion.

More than 120 different subject matter experts provided in-depth classroom and hands-on training during the Academy courses, employing cutting-edge emergency management technology tools to equip cadets with an advanced education.

Leveraging the capability of The Texas A&M University System, the first cohort of the Academy was based out of Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Many of the course instructors are affiliated with The System, including Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and TDEM.

Recruitment for future Academy cadet classes is underway. Additional information is available at