Dr. Moats brings a lifetime of emergency response experience to his virtual classroom.

by Kurt Gottschalk

“We teach based on needs…There are also immediate needs, like Ebola or other infectious diseases, so we’re adaptable to those sorts of regional things.”—Jason Moats, Ph.D.

When asked how old he was when he started working in emergency response, Jason Moats, Ph.D., took a moment to consider the question.

“Well, if you mean the first time I gave CPR to someone,” he offered, “I was 13.”

Dr. Moats, an adjunct professor in Adelphi University’s emergency services administration program, was raised saving lives. His mother was an emergency medical technician (EMT) and his father a volunteer firefighter, and he learned emergency management while learning to teach it to others.

“I grew up in southern Indiana,” he said. “I was a member of a rural emergency response team. I went all around the state teaching people fire response.”

Teaching at Adelphi is just a part of Dr. Moats’ work in training professionals to deal with emergency situations. Based in Bryan-College Station, Texas, Dr. Moats is program director for TEEX, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, under a $22 million contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With three different programs for first responders, TEEX trains 160,000 people a year in classes that can last from four hours to several days. Even more are trained through mobile and online courses, he said.

For the last three years, Dr. Moats, who, at the 2015 Academy of Human Resource Development International Research Conference in the Americas, was named Reviewer of the Year. has also taught an online course at Adelphi from his Bryan-College Station home base. He said he appreciates the University’s focus on serving its students, the move toward the virtual classroom being an example.

“Adelphi is pretty flexible and really student centered,” he said.

Dr. Moats teaches eight to 10 Adelphi students per semester. Although he teaches a virtual course, he visited the Garden City campus in 2014 when he attended a DHS training held here that covered sports and special events.

“Let’s say you have a concert or a sporting event and something unexpected happens, like the bleachers collapse or there’s a fire or a bomb threat, or a madman with a gun comes in,” he said. “Now we’ve got an incident that breaks out; I’m dealing with how do you get the community back to a state of being normal.”

While the course work is fairly standardized, the classes Dr. Moats teaches can be adapted according to region, such as covering wildfires in one part of the country and railroad accidents in another. Storms and flooding are a bigger concern on Long Island, for example, than they are in other areas.

“We teach based on needs, but overall it’s a pretty straightforward course,” he added. “There are also immediate needs, like Ebola or other infectious diseases, so we’re adaptable to those sorts of regional things.”

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