In the late 1990's, the Canadian Emergency Planners Association (CEPA) was created with the objective of regrouping Canadian professionals in this field. Soon after, the profession itself migrated from a planning perspective to a management focus giving the new designation of Emergency Managers.
At the same time, attempts at bringing together professionals from one coast to the other without the support of provincial or territorial organizations proved impossible and CEPA was eventually dismantled.
In Ontario a group of past CEPA members created the Ontario Association of Emergency Managers (OAEM). Working under a common provincial structure and complying with the same provincial legislation, the association grew from forty to four hundred in a matter of a few years.
OAEM worked diligently to provide useful services to its members, and to fulfill its mission of promoting, supporting and enhancing the profession of emergency management in Ontario.
Initially, the association was mainly composed of government officials from the municipal and provincial sectors. Over the years, this too has evolved and the membership now consists of a mix of:
- Emergency managers from both public and private organizations
- First responders
- Health professionals
- Risk management professionals
- Private consultants
- Business continuity coordinators
- IT professionals