1. What training courses does the Division of Emergency Operations offer?
The Division of Emergency Operations offers the following courses: Mass Casualty Incident Management I and II, Vehicle Rescue, HMERT Member, HMERT Leader, and other courses associated with emergency preparedness and response.
2. How do I become a Mass Casualty Instructor (MCI)?
To become a MCI instructor you must first complete module I and II of the program. Upon completion you must also complete the train-the-trainer program for MCI Modules I and II. Once you have completed appropriate paperwork (and ensured you have met other requirements), you will be endorsed as an instructor.
3. What is an HMERT and how do I join?
An HMERT is a Health and Medical Emergency Response Team made up of volunteer from various agencies within a geographical area.
4. What training do I need to become an HMERT member and how do I get it?
The local agency that you need to belong to will have certain requirements for membership. They will provide that training. Once that is done and you become a HMERT member, the necessary training will be provided by this office.
5. What does the Emergency Services Planner do?
The Emergency Services Planner in the Operation Division coordinates Emergency Management planning with Emergency Medical Services Planning. This means integrating the State Emergency Operations Plan, the Health Department’s Pandemic Influenza Plan, the State and Office Continuity of Operations Plan, preparedness planning, and other state initiatives into OEMS and the EMS community. The planner is also a liaison for OEMS to the rest of the Health Department including the Office of Emergency Preparedness.
6. As an EMS provider why should I think about personal and family preparedness during emergencies or disasters?
We all like to think that we are protecting ourselves and our families and that disasters and emergencies will never happen to us. But they do. So the question becomes are we really prepared. Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time. As EMTs, we all work though those small emergencies everyday; but what if something bigger happened? How would you and your family fair? Even if your family is not directly impacted by the event, they may be impacted by contaminated water and interrupted food supply or the collapse of social structures like schools, work, community, etc. Preparation reduces fear, confusion, and loss. It can also help your family if you have to leave them during the disaster to serve in your role as EMS provider. You and your family need a disaster plan that includes emergency meeting places, emergency contacts, and planning for special needs and pets. You’ll also need to develop a disaster kit for your family that includes water, food, and supplies for up to five days. You may need to also develop a separate deployment plan for if you have to leave your family to respond during an emergency that affects them. For more information on developing your disaster plan or kit you can contact Karen Owens at Karen.Owens@vdh.virginia.gov or call (804) 888-9100.