Szt1 Task 4

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Roles of Public Health Personnel The online scenario “Disaster in Franklin County: A Public Health Simulation” (Olson, Larson, Scheller, & Freiburg, 2006), available without cost from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, offers a view of the roles and responsibilities of the members of a public health team reacting to a virtual natural disaster. In a disaster of similar magnitude as simulated here, there would be dozens of people operating within the scope of the public health division. A few roles are significant and defined as “major roles” (Olson et al., 2006) in this disaster simulation. The Public Health Incident Commander is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the public health response to a disaster. This would include planning before the disaster, response to public health concerns during the disaster, and reviewing and improving the plan after the disaster. The Public Information Officer has the duty to provide pertinent health and safety information to the public and other responding agencies to help ensure their wellbeing. Other duties would include assuring that the public health staff remains consistent with the agency’s message to the public and other agencies as well as serving as the official spokesperson for the public health agency. The Liaison Officer interfaces with and coordinates activities with all the other agencies responding to the disaster. This includes obtaining resources from other agencies needed by the public health response and providing needed public health resources to the other responding agencies. This person would also field calls and inquiries from other agencies and refer them to the appropriate person to help free up the incident commander from getting swamped by too many calls. The Operations Officer has to create and institute the specific steps that will achieve the objectives that need

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