Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Environmental Health Officer Professional Advisory Committee

    Purpose

    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.

    Basic Readiness

    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.

    Basic readiness is a condition of service per Commission Corps Directive 111.03, and every Officer is responsible for maintaining their basic force readiness compliance at all times. Failure to meet a condition of service may result in administrative action. As determined by the ASH, an officer who fails to meet any condition of service may have his/her records referred to an Involuntary Termination Board, Administrative Separation Board, Involuntary Retirement Board, Medical Review Board, or other involuntary separation process.

    Maintaining readiness is a vital component to ensuring that the Public Health Service has officers that are physically capable of deploying to austere environments. Immediately upon their Call to Active Duty, new officers must begin the process of meeting the readiness standards.

    Refer to the RedDOG – Down to Basics Checklist for guidance regarding maintaining basic readiness.

    Corps Retention Weight Standards

    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.

    Additional Readiness Resources

    Below is a list of additional resources compiled by the Readiness Subcommittee based on Frequently Asked Questions received from EHO’s regarding readiness:

    Readiness:

    APFT:

    BLS:

    Helpful Resources:

    Deployment

    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 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.

    • RDF- Tier 1 team, ready to deploy in 12 hours. Primary areas of activities include mass care, point of distribution operations, medical surge, isolation and quarantine, pre-hospital triage and treatment, community outreach and assessment, and humanitarian assistance.
    • APHT- A Tier 2 team, ready to deploy in 36 hours. Primary areas of activities include epidemiology/surveillance, preventive (medical) services delivery, environmental public health (air, water, wastes, vectors, food, safety, shelter, industrial hygiene, etc.)
    • Regional Incident Support Team (RIST) – A Tier 1 team, ready to deploy in 12 hours within the assigned HHS region. RIST deployments are typically very short, and are deployable year-round. Officers live and work within the deployment region. Primary areas of activities include rapid event needs assessment; support and direction for incoming response assets; liaison with State, Tribal and local officials; on-site incident management; response asset health and safety.
    • National Incident Support Team (NIST) – A Tier 1 team, ready to deploy in 12 hours. Primary areas of activities include continual event needs assessment; support and direction for incoming response assets; coordination of deployed field assets; liaison with State, Tribal and local officials; on-site incident management; response asset health and safety; demobilization support.
    • Capitol Area Provider Teams (CAP) – A Tier 2 team, ready to deploy in 36 hours. CAPs provide medical and public health resources and assistance in the National Capitol Region for special events and other planned activities. Primary areas of activities include first responder and primary care; basic and advanced life support; pre-hospital triage and treatment; point of distribution operation (mass prophylaxis and vaccination); medical surge; on-site incident management; worker health and safety.
    • Mental Health Team (MHT) – A Tier 2 team, ready to deploy in 36 hours, staffed primarily with mental health and social work officers. Primary areas of activities include incident personnel assessment (diagnosis and treatment); screening for suicide risk, acute and chronic stress reactions, substance abuse, and mental health disorders; supporting development of behavioral health training programs for impacted populations; specialized counseling; psychological first aid, crisis intervention, and time-limited counseling for serious mental illness and/or substance abuse.
    • Services Access Team (SAT) – A Tier 2 team, ready to deploy in 36 hours. Primary areas of activities include needs assessment, plan development/cultural sensitivity; advocating/connecting populations to services; clinical care coordination; continuity/transition management; psycho-social management; re-integration; and confidentiality assurance.

    Additional Environmental Health Emergency Response Resources

    Environmental Health Officers Deployment Resource DVD

    The Environmental Health Officers Deployment Resource DVD provides information on common environmental health issues faced in disasters. It is organized into five sections: General Environmental Health, Food Safety, Occupational Health/Industrial Hygiene, Hazardous Waste/Materials, and Safety Officer.

    Environmental Health Officers Deployment Pamphlet

    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 Narratives

    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 Ebola 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.

    Page Last Modified on 10/11/2018

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