July 29th, 2014 2:58 pm ET - Renée Funk, DVM, MPH&TM, MBA, DACVPM
An Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) system is a critical component in protecting emergency workers from the safety and health risks inherent in emergency response work. An ERHMS system includes specific recommendations and tools for all phases of a response, including the pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment phase. Medical monitoring and surveillance can help identify worker exposures and symptoms early in the course of an emergency response which in turn can prevent or reduce adverse physical and psychological outcomes.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. National Response Team are offering a free ERHMS training course that provides the necessary tools for implementing health monitoring and surveillanceof emergency response workers. Important procedures for pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment are outlined.Continuing education credits can be obtained for those who complete the course. Credits include: CEU/CE; CHES; CME; CNE Contact Hours; Pharmacist Contact Hours; and AAVSB/RACE. We encourage all emergency response coordinators to take the training.For more information, please go to the NIOSH ERHMS web page or CDC TRAIN.
A leadership training course (IS-930) is also offered that introduces the ERHMS system to leaders in organizations responsible for planning and executing incident response activities. The course is free and focuses on optimizing the health and safety of response, remediation, recovery, and volunteer workers. The intended audience includes local, regional, state, tribal, and federal personnel who are responsible for the occupational safety and health of responders. Participants can receive 0.1 continuing education units for completing the course. To access the course, scroll to the online training section on the NIOSH ERHMS topic page.
Renée Funk, DVM, MPH&TM, MBA, DACVPM
Capt. Funk is Deputy Associate Director in the NIOSH Emergency Preparedness and Response Office.