Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Health Services Officer Professional Advisory Committee

Discipline Specific Deployment Roles, Competencies and Trainings

The Public Health Professional Advisory Group (PHPAG) discipline specific roles with their competencies and related education and trainings requirements can be found below:


Environmental Health

Environmental Health: Protect the public from environmental threats and help communities recover. Focus is on disease prevention, radiological health, industrial hygiene, food safety, workplace safety, injury prevention and education.
 

Competencies:

  • Monitor and evaluate environmental risks or hazards that are internal and/or external to the site. Work collaboratively with safety officer in identifying these risks/hazards
  • Ensure that the appropriate actions are taken to protect the health and safety of disaster victims, responders, and the general public, including conducting on-going environmental site assessments, as necessary
  • Implement actions to prevent or control vectors such as flies, mosquitoes, and rodents
  • Inspect damaged building(s) (i.e. shelter) for health hazards (e.g., mold) and ensure the appropriate actions are taken to remediate, isolate, or minimize risks to personnel
  • Coordinate with the local water, public works, or sanitation departments to ensure the availability of potable water, an effective sewage system, and sanitary garbage disposal
  • Coordinate and arrange for the safe collection, storage, and disposal of biomedical/biohazard waste
  • Coordinate and arrange for the sanitary collection, storage, and pick up of soiled linens
  • Coordinate with the animal care and control agency to dispose of dead animals in shelter settings
  • Ensure that adequate sanitary facilities are provided in emergency shelters portable toilets and hand washing facilities and supplies, and portable showers (if necessary)
 

Trainings/Education/Experience:


Epidemiologist

Epidemiologist: Conduct surveillance, investigation, and evaluation of chronic and communicable diseases, injury or other conditions, and assists in the planning and implementation of activities and/or projects in the field designed to prevent and/or control diseases, injuries, and/or conditions. Identifies epidemiologic trends in public health issues. Recognize infectious disease patterns that need intervention or preventive medical care.
 

Competencies:

  • Consolidate response data from various sources
  • Create and maintain data collection tools and datasets/databases
  • Generate and disseminate reports using response data (e.g., patient counts);
  • Establish syndromic surveillance for infectious diseases, injuries, and mental health issues
  • Synthesize findings from various analyses to offer local stakeholders insight in planning for future responses.
  • Conduct community health assessments
 

Trainings/Education/Experience:


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.
 

Competencies:

  • 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
 

Trainings/Education/Experience:


General Health Educator

General Health Educator: Applies skills in communication, health education/promotion, planning and evaluation, needs assessment, and administration to public health disaster response scenarios. Health educators provide and manage health education programs that help individuals, families and their communities maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles.
 

Competencies:

  • Plan assessment process for health education/health promotion, including defining priority population(s), identifying existing resources, applying theories and/or models to the assessment process, and establishing collaborative relationships and agreements that facilitate access to data
  • Select, adapt, and/or create instruments to collect primary data to determine needs
  • Address factors that influence implementation of health education/promotion
  • Develop and conduct evaluation and research related to health education/health promotion
  • Manage relationships with partners and other stakeholders, including facilitating discussions regarding program resource needs
  • Train others to use health education/promotion skills
  • Identify, develop, and deliver messages using a variety of communication strategies, methods, and techniques
 

Trainings/Education/Experience:


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.
 

Competencies:

  • 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
 

Trainings/Education/Experience:


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.
 

Competencies:

  • 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
 

Trainings/Education/Experience:

  • 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

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