The Essential Public Health Services describe the public health activities that should be undertaken in all communities. The Core Public Health Functions Steering Committee developed the framework for the Essential Services in 1994. This steering committee included representatives from US Public Health Service agencies and other major public health organizations. The Essential Services provide a working definition of public health and a guiding framework for the responsibilities of local public health systems.
- Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
- Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
- Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
- Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
- Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
- Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
- Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
- Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
- Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
- Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.
Public Health During An Emergency is NOT:
To be considered “first responders”.
Public health agencies should act as the primary response commander only during a communicable disease outbreak or for the deployment of the Strategic National Stockpile (With a few possible exceptions).
Even in these types of events, public health will be part of a unified or area command structure.
Public Health During An Emergency IS:
With the exception of a catastrophic communicable disease or the need to deploy the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), public health will serve as a support function to other emergency and hospital response teams. It will be the role of public health to provide long term
follow-up and documentation of outcomes.
TriCounty's Environmental Health personnel receive and store SNS
(emergency medical supplies from CDC)
The TriCounty Health Department (TCHD) All Hazards Plan has been developed to provide guidance to employees of TriCounty Health Department in how public health may respond or otherwise be involved in a incident where emergency response is warranted to protect the health and safety of its citizens should a local public health emergency, be it natural or deliberate, affect the community. It is also to share with our community partners to be used as a reference.
The purpose of the plan is to identify the disaster and emergency management functions of TCHD and assets, and to identify how TCHD may best coordinate with other city, county, local, tribal, state or federal agencies.
Throughout this document, the term “plan” may be used, or other plans and annexes may be references. This by no means indicates that this is a legal or binding document; rather it is a guideline from which public health can be an asset to other emergency responders and agencies.
This plan will outline actions to be taken by the TriCounty Health Department (TCHD) in conjunction with local governmental officials and cooperating private or volunteer organizations to:
- Prevent avoidable disasters and reduce the vulnerability of citizens to any disasters that create a local public health emergency;
- Establish capabilities for protecting citizens from the effects of a local public health emergency;
- Respond effectively to the actual occurrence of disasters; and
- provide for recovery in the aftermath of any local public health emergency.
TriCounty area and its population are threatened by a variety of potential emergencies and disasters. The occurrence of any of these emergencies/ disaster may require the activation of extraordinary response mechanisms, as detailed in this Emergency Operations Plan.
Check out http://www.ready.gov
Are you prepared for:
Earthquakes. Utah lies in a zone that is considered seismically active. Many fault systems extending north and south exists along the bases of our mountain ranges. The last major earthquake occurred along the Wasatch Fault approximately 400 years ago. History indicates that the average interval between major quakes is 350 years; highlighting the immediate potential for a devastating earthquake. Such an event would result in serious property and personal injury. Faults in the TriCounty area are smaller and less active, but could still threaten life and critical infrastructure.
Floods. Flooding is common in various parts of Utah as a result of rapid spring snow melt and severe thunderstorms.
Severe Storms. Heavy rainstorms accompanied by gusty winds and hail have caused property damage to homes and businesses. Funnel clouds, tornados, and micro burst winds have all been associated with some severe storms. Winds to 75 mph are not uncommon. Heavy snowfall is common with winter storms, and is responsible for widespread power outages and dangerous travel conditions. The Tri County area is also subject to extended periods of extreme cold. Special considerations must be taken for power outages during one of these periods.
Wild Land Fires. Uncontrolled wild land fires cause extensive damage to watersheds and rangeland every year in Utah. Although public health is not a likely first response agency, it may be required for long term follow up.
Hazardous Materials Accident. Most hazardous material incidents result from transportation and industry. This is a large problem in the Tri County area, especially with the increased production of natural gas. Trucks containing hazardous materials daily traverse the main streets of Vernal and other towns.
Landslides, Debris Flows and Avalanches. These natural phenomena are associated primarily with seismic events and weather changes.
Dam Failure. The state of Utah is home to numerous dams, some of which lie within the jurisdiction of TCHD. In the event of a sudden failure, there would be severe damage to property and infra-structure. Loss of life is highly probable as well. Public health and public works would be critical components of response and recovery.
Terrorism and Civil Disturbance. The threat of terrorism in Utah is increasing. Utah has active gang violence and supremacist groups/militias, and the presence of numerous federal and military installations as well as natural resource infrastructure create a target-ripe environment. These events can result in use of Biological, Chemical, Radiological, or Improvised Explosive Devices.
Wondering what is happening in the local community? Check out our News Release page
Medical Reserve Corps: what is it and opportunities
H1N1 Vaccine questions: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub.htm
Pregnancy and H1N1. Click here for details.
To Download the Plan 9 Training Booklet, please click here.