Local emergency managers bear the responsibilities to lead,
design, and implement local EM policies and engage in
collaboration. Their job duties include the following: 1) to
communicate and coordinate with higher levels of governments
in both normal times and in emergencies; 2) to handle grant
applications and administration; 3) to follow federal, state, and
county EM frameworks and to design local EM plans; 4) to
improve local EM capacity through trainings, drills, exercises,
and education; 5) to comfort and assist the public during a
disaster; and 6) to implement various collaborations for
successfully responding to all types of emergencies and disasters.
Although they are not the people who stand on the front line to
rescue people, they have to handle daily EM work well and be
ready to face any emergency at any time. Therefore, a successful
local EM worker should have excellent interpersonal and
political skills and be flexible and adaptive to the environment,
which current studies have highlighted. Particularly, EM
capacity improvement is not only an important part of a local
EM’s job duties, but also an essential criterion for collaboration.
Local governments’ EM capacity level is determined by their
metropolitan status, geographic location, population size,
federal and state funding, local EM resources, EM training, and
local EM agency size. In addition, it influences how they
respond to emergencies and disasters as they engage in various
NIMS was originally a national standard which was
designed to foster collaboration among all levels of governments.
However, it is criticized as a synonym of federal control.
According to the interviewees’ perspective in this study, NIMS is
generally viewed as a useful system which helps people in
different places communicate efficiently and effectively and
therefore decreases misunderstanding during an emergency.
However, the over-formalized structure, the centralized control,
and the tedious paperwork were mentioned as being