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Prof doesn't just teach emergency response — he performs it

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Kevin Kupietz (right) teaches an introduction to Emergency Management class at Elizabeth City State University, Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kevin Kubietz not only teaches students how to plan and carry out the best possible response in emergencies, he also regularly responds to large-scale emergencies around the country.

Kubietz, professor of emergency management at Elizabeth City State University, said Wednesday that being an active emergency responder keeps him connected to trends and current discussions in emergency management. He said he remains a volunteer firefighter in Roanoke Rapids, where he lives.

In addition, Kubietz maintains cutting-edge skills as a member of the National Disaster Medical System. He was stationed in Texas in preparation for Hurricane Harvey and is slated to leave for Puerto Rico next week.

NDMS members are federal “intermittent employees” much like members of the National Guard, who can be called up for service in response to emergencies.

In the case of the upcoming Puerto Rico deployment, Kubietz knows he’s going next week and expects to return in early November.

But Kubietz said such advance notice is unusual.

“Typically it’s a phone call and (directive to) ‘be at the airport in four hours,’” Kubietz said.

Kubietz was stationed in Dallas when the storm came through Houston. His team started the drive down to Houston as the storm was coming through, he explained. In Houston he worked at the Brown Convention Center, which at one point housed as many as 11,000 people who were sheltering from the hurricane.

Since 1992 Kubietz has worked in civilian firefighting and emergency medical service. Before that he served in the Navy.

The other professor in ECSU’s emergency management program, Peter Loebach, is able to cover for Kubietz when he is away, Kubietz noted. He said he and Loebach work together very closely in the program.

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