IAEM-Canada Professional Development Committee

Mandate/Mission/Goals | Committee Roster | Supporting Documents | Professional Development Projects | News | Join the Committee

Mandate, Mission, and Goals

The mandate, mission, and goals of the IAEM Canada Professional Development Committee are to:

  • Identify and promote professional development opportunities.
  • Through collaboration with external partners, clarify and document EM core competencies within a Canadian Framework.
  • Raise awareness of EM core competencies as they align with the CEM/AEM certifications and the Canadian industry.
  • Create mentorship and shared industry information exchange opportunities accessible to and respond to members' needs.
  • Highlight experts in different areas of emergency management in Canada.
  • Maintain a list of EM educational opportunities in Canada.

Committee Roster

Director, Professional Development Committee
John MacIsaac, BTech (Emergency Management), ACP
Manager, Emergency Preparedness
Nova Scotia Health
Nova Scotia

JJ is the manager for emergency preparedness – projects and planning for Nova Scotia Health. He also has worked as an advanced care paramedic, paramedic educator, and as a sessional instructor teaching emergency management principles for the Healthcare Administration program at Cape Breton University. His Master of Education is in progress and he is working toward the CEM designation.

Professional Development Committee Co-Chair

Carolyn Dumbeck, CEM

Carolyn is a special project lead with Emergency/Disaster Management at Alberta Health Services (AHS). In her role, Carolyn develops emergency response plans that are utilized across AHS’ hospitals, clinics, and corporate sites. Carolyn is also AHS’ CBRN/HazMat First Receiver Program coordinator. During high-impact events, including the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires and the COVID-19 response, Carolyn was deployed to support AHS’ major incident response. Her roles included; planning section chief, liaison officer, and project manager for Operations Public Health Branch. Prior to her current role, Carolyn worked as an advanced care paramedic and firefighter. She is a graduate of Charles Sturt University’s Masters in Emergency Management program. Carolyn is a long-standing member IAEM and holds her Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) certification. She also serves on the IAEM-Canada Core Competency Working Group, and the IAEM-USA Healthcare Caucus. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Committee Members

Sarah Delisle


Sarah Delisle is the senior advisor for emergency management at McGill University. Sarah strongly believes community partnerships, multi-pronged communication, and continuous learning are essential for promoting disaster resilience. This conviction developed from her personal experience of the 1998 Ice Storm in Quebec, and through her work as a disaster logistics coordinator with Manitoba Health during the H1N1 pandemic, and as a municipal recovery liaison with the Government of Alberta for the 2013 Southern Alberta floods and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies from Brandon University and a Master’s Degree in Geography from McGill. She is a long-standing member of the IAEM and currently also serves on IAEM-USA Mental Health & Wellness Caucus. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Alison Poste

Alison is the corporate emergency coordinator with the Capital Regional District in Victoria, BC. In her role, she works to develop emergency plans and procedures to support the capital region’s 13 municipalities and three electoral areas. Alison has been deployed on numerous incident responses and recovery efforts throughout Alberta and BC, earning several awards for her work. Alison holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Saskatchewan and a Diploma in Communications from the University of Victoria. She is a long-time member of the International Association of Emergency Managers and has served on the Professional Development Committee since 2020. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Amy Romanas

Amy is an emergency manager who is drawn to epic problems and finding solutions. She has a strong and diverse emergency management background with over 20 years of experience including U.S. military, local government, Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic planner, health system emergency management, and as a deployable resource that has assisted in multiple large-scale events in a variety of leadership roles. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Rick McSpadden

Rick is an experienced and focused emergency and operations management professional with qualifications and experience from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United Kingdom, and recently Canada, specifically Nova Scotia. He has experience with business continuity planning including COVID-19 mitigation measures across a military garrison with a population of approximately 10,000 military, civilian, contract personnel, and service families. Rick’s background is in both civilian and military maritime and transport logistics, and training design and coordination. He has acquired extensive experience within diverse logistics environments. Rick is due to sit for the CEM exam soon as the final requirement before achieving full accreditation. Follow him on LinkedIn.

Mariyam Syed

Mariyam Syed is an emergency management analyst with Alberta Health, Government of Alberta. As part of her role, Mariyam works on creating plans, resources, training materials, and exercises for Department Emergency Operations, Business Continuity as well as how the department relates to its key partners and stakeholders before, during and after emergency events. She has a passion for continuous improvement and evaluation in emergency management. She has been involved in provincial response and recovery efforts for numerous emergency events, including: the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, 2013 Southern Alberta Floods, 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire, and the 2020 COVID-19 Response. She was recognized by the Alberta Provincial Operations Center with the 2019 Tim Kirk Exemplary Performance Award for her work in the development of a government wide exercise series that explored the business continuity impacts of an influenza pandemic. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Richard Pereira, CEM

Richard is works for Emergency Management Ontario as a training and development officer. In this role Richard designs and delivers IMS training to internal stakeholders such as government ministries, as well as external stakeholders such as municipalities, police, fire, paramedics, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private sector partners as well. Richard’s training takes place across Ontario and virtually as well. Recently Richard has been working with additional partners in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Public Health Agency and is exploring opportunities to collaborate in training and education. Richard’s career includes EM and operational experience with the Toronto Transit Commission, the City of Toronto’s Emergency Operations Center as well as time within municipal and federal law enforcement. He will finish his Masters of Disaster and Emergency Management degree at York University in the spring of 2023 and is working on a private sector endeavor to enrich the field of emergency management. Follow him on LinkedIn.

Supporting Documents

Professional Development Projects

Emergency Management Education in Canada

The Professional Development – Canadian Secondary Institutes Document is a compilation of resources developed by the IAEM-Canada Professional Development Committee in an attempt to consolidate and capture all (emergency management) further education that educational institutes within Canada offer. It includes information and links to certificate-level courses, diploma-level courses, undergraduate degree programs, and postgraduate degree programs.

Interested in getting your AEM/CEM, check out the IAEM Certification Resource Center

Virtual Emergency Operations Centres

In response to a perceived gap in the analysis, select members of the Professional Development Committee collaborated and published a paper documenting the experiences of Canadian emergency management professionals during the initial phases of the pandemic. As a supplementary project and based on best practices submitted by emergency management professionals across Canada, committee members completed a checklist to aid organizations in determining their readiness to support ‘virtual’ emergency operations.


  • VEOC Findings Featured on EPIC Podcast: (Jun. 1, 2023) EPIC podcast featured the Professional Development Committee’s research findings on Virtual EOCs. During the session, they also introduced the VEOC Readiness Assessment Checklist. Listen to the session through the EPIC Podcast website.
  • Professional Development Committee Member Provides Keynote for European Commission of Foot and Mouth Disease: (Nov. 1, 2022) One of the VEOC authors was a Keynote speaker and panelist in Marseille, France, for the European Commission of Foot and Mouth Disease in October 2022, sharing our research findings on VEOCs. The session is now on YouTube.


Professional Development Members Contribute to Journal of Emergency Management: (Sep. 1, 2021) Members of the Professional Development Committee completed a student and subsequent journal article in the Journal of Emergency Management entitled “More than Technology: Experiences of Virtual Emergency Operations Centres (VEOCs) during the COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada.” Contact the Professional Development Committee to learn more.

Join the Committee

We meet monthly via a virtual platform and seek new committee members to work with us. Our team is small but mighty and has worked tirelessly through everything the past few years have thrown at us! Current committee members come from Provincial-level healthcare, higher education, the Provincial government, and more. On average, committee members will spend approximately five hours a month on related work and meetings, depending on active projects they may be supporting.

If you are looking for a great way to grow your network, influence Canadian Emergency Management at this pivotal time in our history, be inspired by amazing existing committee members, or expand your skill set, we would love to have you join our committee.

This is an opportunity to work towards one of your professional development requirements as you seek to obtain/renew your CEM certification. Please contact the Professional Development Committee at CanadaProfessionalDevelopment@iaem.com to be referred to the committee chair.