Kentucky Qualification System

"Kentucky's adoption of the National Qualification System represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance emergency management response. By aligning our qualifications and training programs with national standards, we are better equipped to protect our citizens, mitigate risks, and respond effectively to emergencies and disasters."– Former KYEM Director Jeremy Slinker

​What is KQS?

The Kentucky Qualification System or KQS establishes a standardized framework for assessing and validating emergency management personnel's qualifications, skills, and competencies. By adopting this system, Kentucky will ensure that emergency responders, officials, and volunteers possess the necessary expertise to handle a wide range of emergency situations efficiently and effectively. The following illustration shows the basic KQS process. The goal of the process is for a person to be fully trained and credentialed to serve in a position in an Incident Management Team or Emergency Operations Center Assistance Team. 

What is happening with KQS?

On June 29, 2023, the KQS Advisory Committee held its inaugural meeting to discuss the implementation process of KQS. The Advisory Committee has been working steadily since then with development of KQS as its primary mission. The following persons compose the Advisory Committee: Mr. Dustin Heiser, KYEM (Committee Chair); Mr. Steve Brukwicki, KYEM; Mr. Drew Chandler, Woodford County EM; Mr. Michael Froelich, EEC; Mr. Grant Gillion, KDPH; Ms. Jennifer Hitch, KYEM; Mr. Marc Rudder, KY Fire Commission; Mr. Todd Schulkers, Kenton County HS/EM; Mr. Kevin Vogelpohl, Boone County EM; Mr. Jason York, KYEM; Ms. Charla Sands, DMA, Legal Counsel, Nonvoting; and Dr. Charlie Harris, KYEM, Secretary, Nonvoting. During the Advisory Committee Meeting on March 25, 2024, the Advisory Committee voted to add Mr. Garth Wireman, Greenup County EM, due to his expertise with Public Safety Communications

In July of 2023, the Advisory Committee formed a Policy and Procedures Subcommittee. The subcommittee developed a Standard Operating Guide (SOG) for KQS as part of its duties. The Advisory Committee published Version 1 of the KQS SOG in February of 2024. This document guides KQS implementation and management. Click on the link titled “KQS SOG" at the top right of this page to obtain a copy. 

Since June of 2023, the Advisory Committee has continued to meet and guide the implementation of KQS in the Commonwealth. 

​​The Qualification Review Boards

Beginning in the fall of 2023, KYEM began to coordinate the formation of Qualification Review Boards or QRBs. The purpose of the QRBs will be to manage the qualification system process of KQS. There are two QRBs in the Commonwealth. One board handles IMT personnel, and the other focuses upon EOC Assistance Team members.

On September 14, 2023, the IMT QRB held its first meeting.  Since then, the IMT QRB has met on a regular basis, and the board continues to develop its role in KQS

The following persons compose the IMT QRB: Mr. Dustin Heiser, KYEM (Chair); Mr. Rob Blair, KDEP- ERT; Mr. Wayne Briscoe, KBEMS; Mr. Ian Burkett, KYEM; Mrs. Randi Feltner, KYTC; Mr. Doug Hargreaves (USAR – KYEM) ; Mr. Ryan Hembree, KYEM, Mrs. Angela Kik, KDPH; Mr. James McCloud, KDEP-ERT; Mr. Edward Meiman, Louisville Metro EMA; Mr. Daniel Newcomb, KYEM; Mr. Bob Stephens, KYEM; Mr. Terry Wattenbarger, State Fire Rescue Training; Mr. Garth Wireman, Greenup County EM​; Mr. Jordan Yuodis, AMFEMS; and Dr. Charlie Harris, KYEM, Secretary, Nonvoting. 

On January 17, 2024, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) QRB met for the first time. The following persons compose the EOC QRB with additional members to be confirmed:  Mr. Dustin Heiser, KYEM (Chair); Mr. Nick Bailey, Hopkins County EMA; Mr. Rob Blair, KDEP- ERT; Mr. Patrick Compton, KYEM; Col. Christopher Crockett, KY State Park Rangers; Mr. Jerrod Dean, KYEM; Mr. William Eckler, KYEM; Ms. Jessica Elbouab, KYEM; Mr. Eric Gibson, KDAEM; Mr. Doug Hargreaves (USAR – KYEM), Mr. Frederick Holt, EEC; Mrs. Amanda LeMaster, EEC; Mr. James McCloud, KDEP-ERT; CPT Austin Powell, KYNG; Mr. Jay Postlewaite, KYTC; Mr. Russell Rains, KDPH; Mr. Jeremy Rodgers, KY Fire Commission; Mr. Phillip Ross, KOHS; and Dr. Charlie Harris, KYEM, Secretary, Nonvoting. ​

KQS in the News

New Kentucky Emergency Management system helps disaster response | FOX 56 News

Kentucky Emergency... - Kentucky Emergency Management | Facebook

What's Coming Up with KQS?

Both the Advisory Committee and the QRBs are working to provide information to those who wish to participate in KQS. Their goal is to have updated and relevant information available on this site throughout the calendar year. The initial emphasis for the IMT QRB will Historical Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience (HR).  The EOC Assistance Team QRB is developing their business rules and completing Job Action Sheets for Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). The Job Action Sheets list the main tasks and training required for these positions in the SEOC.

For Additional Information

For more information about the Kentucky Qualification System, contact the KYEM KQS Program Manager, Dr. Charlie Harris at 502-607-5707 or by email

KQS Meetings Minutes

KQS Resources


Advisory Committee Member Photos

IMT QRB Member Photos

Upcoming Meetings:

Advisory Committee Meets May 13 at 10:00 AM

EOC Assistance Team QRB Meets May 15 at 1:30 PM

IMT QRB Meets May 30 at 1:30 PM.

Kentucky Qualification System