Disaster Planning:Public Health Role

Topics: Incident Command System, Nursing, Incident management Pages: 7 (2586 words) Published: January 17, 2014
SZT Task 4Disaster in Franklin County
After working through the project “Disaster in Franklin County,” I will admit that I have a new appreciation for the role of the public health nurse in the event of an emergency. The simulation helped me to understand the important role that the public health team. The plays in assisting the community during a disaster. Role of the Major Public Health Personnel

Each of the major public health personnel, including the public health nurse, play a key role in keeping a disaster organized flowing smoothly. The key roles are the medical health director, agency incident commander, public information officer, liaison officer, operations chief, planning chief, logistics chief, finance and administration chief, and public health nurse. With the exception of the public health nurse, the positions are often filled by people who may not be specifically trained for the roles, however, have a general overview of what the specific role requires. Agency Incident Commander – The agency incident commander is responsible for making the assignments of each of the other roles. She/he will have a familiarity with the specific skill sets of each person who is eligible for a role and be able to use these skill sets appropriately with in each role to obtain the highest amount of effectiveness. The incident commander will have a broad overview of what the different areas are working on, and know how each role will work to benefit other roles within the big picture. The AIC oversees the development of the incident mission and key goals, and from this comes the development of an Incident Action Plan (IAP). The AIC is responsible for ensuring that the public health agency incident mission and goals are synchronous with those of the other responding agencies and jurisdictions. The person in this position will have natural leadership qualities such as reliable critical thinking and problem solving skills, ability to make a quick decision, flexibility, adaptability, and a broad understanding of the area affected. Public Information Officer – The public information officer is the communication coordinator or spokesperson. This individual is responsible for assuring that appropriate information is provided to the public, governmental officials and collaborating agencies. The Public Information Officer also assures that the required information is provided to the public health agency staff, so that the message of the agency is consistent, and in synchrony with other agencies. This person needs to be proficient in gathering the correct data for the situation, organizing facts, preparing appropriate releases for the press and the public, should have good communication skills, the ability to think quickly before responding, and have a good working knowledge of correct policy and procedure, standards, and laws in the public health realm. Liaison Officer – The liaison officer interfaces with and coordinates all activities with external agencies. The Liaison Officer assures that external agencies that are working with the department of health are provided with the resources that are required, as well as assure that agency policies, procedures and sovereignty are respected. She will be a point of contact for other agency representatives, and will coordinate assistance from other agencies such as hospitals, counties, EMS and federal emergency management. She will be responsible for creating and maintaining a list of cooperating agencies, their representatives, and point of contacts, and keeping other agencies aware of the public health status within the given situation. The liaison officer will have a functional working relationship with other agencies and have good communication and organizational skills. Operations Chief – The Operations Chief carries out the specific tasks and objectives that the public health agency needs to do in order to accomplish the goals of the incident. In this section, the Incident...
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