Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Health Services Officer Professional Advisory Committee

Discipline Specific Deployment Roles, Competencies and Trainings

The Basic and Applied Science discipline specific roles with their competencies and related education and trainings requirements can be found below:

Food Safety

Food Safety: Apply skills to inspect food processing facilities and procedures to ensure that applicable regulations are being followed. Use food safety skills to test samples of food products and work with epidemiologists to investigate outbreaks and complaints.


  • Oversee and assist with on-site food service (general food safety): preparation, serving, storage, and distribution
  • Conduct sanitation inspections at food vendors awarded patient feeding contracts, as permitted by the chain of command
  • Ensure food vendors deliver foods under appropriate temperature and sanitation conditions. Monitor temperatures of incoming potentially hazardous foods (PHF)
  • Oversee and assist with general sanitation.
  • Provide basic food safety training for volunteers and staff
  • Alert chain of command and then safety officer and initiate epidemiologic surveillance and investigation at first sign of suspected food contamination or foodborne illness outbreak



Planning: Coordinates support activities for incident planning as well as demobilization planning; coordinates information activities across the response system


  • Manage all aspects of the Planning Section, (covering prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery mission areas)
  • Manage the preparation of strategies & plans for the incident
  • Submit incident status reports
  • Prepare, collects, evaluates, disseminates, and uses incident information to develop the Incident Action Plan
  • Facilitate incident information to maintain situational awareness (current and future)
  • Provide periodic predictions on incident potential and incident course of actions
  • Coordinate planning efforts at the local level
  • Establish or transition into the Planning Section
  • Supervise and configure section with units and single resources as necessary
  • Activities that support the incident management process, including completing the incident action plan and support plans and accomplishing incident information processing. This contrasts with preparedness planning, which is designed to ready a system for response. Responsible for training deployed officers to ensure they are indoctrinated into their area of operations.



Operations: Establish strategies and specific tactics to accomplish the command goals and objectives


  • Develop all tactical operations at the incident, and in the Incident Command System, includes branches, divisions and/or groups, Task Forces, Strike Teams, Single Resources, and Staging Areas.
  • Involved in patient evacuation, emergency planning, construction, health systems design, data systems design, and transportation


  • Complete the following training courses:
  • Successful completion of the Operations Section Chief Position Task Book.


Admin/Finance: Supports accounting for funds used during the response and recovery aspect of the disaster as well as monitor costs related to the incident and provide accounting analyses.


  • Responsible for all financial, administrative, and cost analysis aspects of an incident
  • Maintain daily contact with agency administrative headquarters on finance and administration matters
  • Meets with assisting and cooperating agency representatives
  • Advises the Incident Commander on financial and administrative matters
  • Develops the operating plan for the Finance/Administration Section
  • Coordinates finances at the local level
  • Establishes or transitions into an existing Finance/Administration Section
  • Supervises and configures section with units to support as necessary


Liaison (LNO)

Liaison (LNO): Establish and maintain direct coordination and information exchange with agencies and organizations outside of the specific incident structure. A member of the Command Staff responsible for filling the senior liaison function with representatives from cooperating and assisting agencies with donations.


  • Serves as the single point of contact for representatives of government departments and agencies (such as Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial), as well as for jurisdictions, Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO), private sector organizations, and other cooperating agencies and organizations, and speaks on behalf of the Incident Commander (IC) or center director
  • Ensures that those who are not part of the command staff, but who contribute to the incident’s prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery, receive appropriate information and exchange communications with the Incident Management Team (IMT) or Emergency Operations Center staff


Safety Officer

Safety Officer: Applies skills in communication, planning and evaluation, needs assessment, negotiation observation, and forward planning with the intent to prevent accidents, injuries and work-related illnesses in theatre. Develops and implements health and safety policies, as well as monitors incident or event operations as it relates to health and safety. Advises the Incident Commander on all matters relating to incident health and safety of emergency responder personnel.


  • Monitors and assesses safety hazards
  • Develops measures for ensuring personnel safety
  • Inspects facilities for safety hazards
  • Participates in developing the Incident Action Plan (IAP) regarding safety implications
  • Provides safety briefings and distributes safety messages
  • Monitors incident operations and advises the Incident Commander (IC) or center director on all matters relating to the health and safety of emergency response personnel
  • Stops and prevents unsafe actions during incident operations


  • Complete the following training courses:
  • Serve as Safety Officer during an incident, exercise, drill, or simulation at least once every three years or
  • Successful completion Safety Officer Position Task Book (PTB)

Page Last Modified on 11/11/2019

This page may require you to download plug-ins to view all content. Persons with disabilities having problems accessing any PDF or document on this page may call 1-888-225-3302 toll free for assistance.

You will be automatically logged out in , losing any unsaved work. Any movement detected within the screen will allow you more time.

External Link Warning!