10 Qs with Taylor Frizzell
IAEM Region 1 President; Emergency Manager for the Massachusetts State House; Boston, MA
6. HAVE YOU READ A RECENT ARTICLE OR BOOK THAT INSPIRED YOU?
1. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
I fell into an internship the summer before my Senior year of college for my hometown's Office of Emergency Management. My undergrad was in Homeland Security and Psychology so Emergency Management certainly was not where I pictured myself being but I'm incredibly thankful luck was on my side.
I recently read The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why by Amanda Ripley. It was fantastic! I love learning about the brain and how it applies to our community in preparedness and response. This was a fantastic and refreshing read though I'm pretty sure I'm late to the party on this one.
7. HOW DO YOU STAY ENGAGED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY?
2. WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I use my LinkedIn a ton to try to stay connected. I have a lot of brilliant and hardworking EMs as well as other professionals on there that are always sharing positivity and new ideas. It keeps me engaged and on top of what's going on in the professional world.
I'm most proud of representing IAEM Region 1. The work we do every day is paramount to bringing Emergency Management into the general person's zeitgeist. It’s incredible to say that we offer regular webinars, develop new programming, partner to offer FEMA courses, and offer opportunities for networking and mentoring in a low stress/stress free environment.
8. WHAT’S A FUN FACT ABOUT YOU THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW?
3. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE A ROADBLOCK FOR WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
I used to teach ballroom dance to kids.
A lot of times it’s hard to feel like you’re part of the crew. I find that myself being a woman in EM I am constantly dealing with a sense of Imposter Syndrome. Regardless of the good work I do and the representation on behalf of women and people my age, I don't always feel like "one of the guys" in Emergency Management. That personally has been my biggest roadblock
in the industry.
9. ANY TIPS FOR WORK/LIFE BALANCE?
Remove unnecessary alerts from your phone. Don't have popups for personal emails. Set timers for social media apps so that it automatically kicks you out at a certain time. It allows me to disconnect from whatever is happening at work, on social media, and just be present with the people that invigorate and rejuvenate me.
4. SHARE A HOT TOPIC OR TREND IN YOUR FIELD!
10. SHARE YOUR BEST CAREER ADVICE.
Emerging technology is a HUGE topic in the field right now. There are so many opportunities to improve existing technologies like GIS, heat mapping, Virtual EOCs, etc. and I am incredibly excited to see where those and all the technologies end up.
Try everything. Yes, being a jack of all trades is a double-edged sword but especially if you're just starting out, don't be afraid to play around in EM. What I love about the field is that it is made up of all these quirky niche sub sectors and backgrounds. You'd be remiss if you didn't at least explore some of them.
5. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE GETTING THEIR START IN THE FIELD?
Work hard and remind yourself that you can love Emergency Management while also not letting it consume your life. It sometimes feels like a fine line