Western Governor’s University
Role of the Major Public Health Personnel
In the event of a disaster, the community relies upon the public health personnel to evaluate the needs of the community, assess the available resources, provide reliable information, and coordinate health activities. It is essential that local health workers are trained professionals who are reassuring and organized to address health, social, cultural and material concerns of the community. Local health personnel coordinate social services, transportation, available health services, volunteers, outside assistance, public utilities and rescue work (HELP, 1989).
The public health nurse is an integral public health team member and is uniquely qualified to serve the population. The public health nurse effectively communicates and collaborates with the local health department and other groups and agencies to mobilize resources required during a disaster. The public health nurse possesses knowledge about the community population and can help identify possible gaps in available services (Public Health Nursing, 2005). Also, as in the simulation of the Disaster in Franklin County, the public health nurse functioned as part of the canvassing team sent to conduct door-to-door interviews of the residents. The team was able to assess the health and safety status of residents living within a flood zone and provide immediate assistance based upon identified needs (Disaster in Franklin County, 2006). Chain of Command
The Public Health Command System for the Franklin County simulation is lead by the Incident Commander who enlists the Deputy Director to appoint section chiefs and command staff who will comprise the Public Health Incident command team. The team and the assigned responsibilities are as follows:
1) Planning Chief: Responsible for gathering and analyzing information to formulate the incident action plan.