Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Environmental Health Officer Professional Advisory Committee

    Basic Readiness

    The purpose of this webpage is to provide up-to-date and relevant readiness and deployment information to Environmental Health Officers. This will provide guidance for officers in preparation, during and following a deployment. Basic readiness is now a condition of service and every Officer is responsible for maintaining their basic force readiness compliance at all times. Readiness checks are now completed monthly not quarterly. RedDOG Self-Service in CCMIS Officer Secure area allows officers to check their readiness status 24/7/365.

    The Environmental Health Readiness Guide is an excellent place for EHO’s to begin to obtain information and resources about readiness and deployment.

    On July 10, 2017, weight standards were approved for all U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers. The new standards go into effect on October 1, 2018. The approved weight standards can be found here.

    The Dietitian PAC has a lot of great resources for monitoring nutrition and fitness. Additionally, they have devised a Weight Management Program Online, to assist officers in meeting their target weight. The Weight Management Program was developed by a group of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in the Commissioned Corps. Officers can access the Weight Management Modules here.

    Water-Related Emergencies and Outbreaks

    Water-related emergency preparedness and outbreak response has become one of the most significant and crucial issues in recent history. Individuals, families, and businesses have been advised to be prepared for emergencies by creating disaster supply kits that include appropriate amounts of safe drinking water. Emergencies can include natural disasters (for example, hurricanes, floods, and droughts) man-made disasters (for example, intentional contamination), and outbreaks (for example, infections linked to water exposure). Preparedness resources include preparedness toolkits, preparedness training, and directions for emergency disinfection. Click hereThis is a link to an external site to link to the CDC website for water-realted emergencies and outbreaks.

    Deployment Teams

    The Readiness and Deployment Operations Group (RedDOG) has been charged with developing, training, and maintaining the PHS response teams. Environmental Health Officers can serve on any PHS team as long as they have the capabilities required and Supervisory/Agency approval. A complete list and description of PHS teams and fact sheets can be found on RedDOG’s website Primary differences between deployment roles as they relate to Environmental Health Officers are provided below. Officers not on a PHS team are Tier 3 Officers; when activated.

    Post-DeploymentReturn to top of page

    The Readiness Subcommittee conducted a survey during February 2014 to determine primary Environmental Health Officer (EHO) domestic deployment roles, equipment and supplies utilized during deployments, adequacy of existing deployment guidance, and training needs. Respondents completed the survey based on their most recent Office of Force Readiness and Deployment (OFRD) domestic deployment. Survey Report - PDF: 12 pages, 350 KB 

    Additional Deployment ResourcesReturn to top of page

    Environmental Health Officer Utilization Handbook

    The Environmental Health Officer Utilization Handbook is available here (PDF: 175 KB, 11 pages). This handbook lists a summary of skills possessed by Environmental Health Officers of the United States Public Health Service. It also describes typical activities these officers might perform in an emergency response situation following a disaster under the Federal Response Plan.

    CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Website

    The CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response website is CDC's primary source of information and resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. The site continues to keep the public informed about public health emergencies and provides the information needed to protect and save lives.

    Water-Related Emergencies and Outbreaks

    Water-related emergency preparedness and outbreak response has become one of the most significant and crucial issues in recent history. The CDC Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH)-related Emergencies and Outbreaks website, advises individuals, families, and businesses on how to be prepared by creating disaster supply kits. Emergencies can include natural disasters (i.e. hurricanes, floods, and droughts), man-made disasters (i.e. intentional contamination), and outbreaks (i.e. infections linked to water exposure). This website also includes information about additional preparedness resources include preparedness toolkits, preparedness training, and directions for emergency disinfection.

    Deployment NarrativesReturn to top of page

    Commander Timothy Jiggens, 2015 Environmental Health Officer Responder of the Year. (PDF: 880 KB, 3 pages)  A look back at CDR Jiggens deployments to West Africa as part of the Ebloa Disaster Assistance Response Team.

    Captain Calvin Edwards (PDF: 131 KB, 3 pages)  An outline of CAPT Edwards deployment to Harbel, Liberia as the Officer in Charge of Monrovia Medical Unit Team 1 between October and December of 2014.

    Opportunities

    MembershipReturn to top of page

    Eligible members are readiness qualified PHS commissioned corps officers belonging to the EHO Category serving on active or on active reserve duty or their civil service counterparts. Participation of state and local environmental health practitioners as ad hoc or advisory members to the Subcommittee is encouraged. Subcommittee members are selected to represent a variety of Agencies/Operating Divisions and technical areas relating to general environmental health, food safety, industrial hygiene/occupational health, hazardous materials and safety. Members must also possess a vast knowledge of emergency deployments and have successfully participated in a number of deployments either through their agency or the Office of Force Readiness and Deployment. Every effort will be made to ensure a good mixture of rank/grade, gender, ethnic background and geographic representation when selecting incoming members. The Subcommittee will be chaired by a member of the EHOPAC appointed by the EHOPAC Chairperson.

    ApplicationReturn to top of page

    Opportunities arise annually and spontaneously. Notifications of vacancies will be sent through the EHOPAC LISTSERV. If you have not signed up for the LISTSERV emails, we encourage you to do so.

    VolunteerReturn to top of page

    From time to time, the Subcommittee has a need for non-voting volunteers to assist with special projects. If you would like to be considered for volunteer opportunities, please submit an email to LT Krista Ferry at krista.ferry@fda.hhs.gov or LT Steven Merritt at merritt.steven@epa.gov and describe your background, experience, as well as the opportunity you are seeking.

    Readiness Specific TrainingReturn to top of page

    Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) – Awareness Level

    Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, AL, the EHTER Awareness Level course consists of 10 modules that provide an overview of key environmental health topics, issues, and challenges faced during emergency response. These include food safety, potable water, wastewater, shelters, vector control and pest management, building assessment, solid waste and hazardous materials, radiation, responder safety, and disaster management. The overall purpose of the course is to increase the level of emergency preparedness of environmental health practitioners and other emergency response personnel by providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to address the environmental health impacts of emergencies and disasters. For more information about both the in-person and online versions of this course, please visit CDC's EHTER- Awareness Level webpage by clicking hereThis is a link to an external site (http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/eLearn/EHTER.htm).

    Page Last Modified on 8/17/2018

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