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Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response Operations EHTER Ops

Target Audience/Disciplines

Individuals currently serving as Environmental Health Responders assigned to a local, State, Territorial, or Tribal Emergency Response Team, performing environmental health tasks in emergencies and disasters.


The Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response Operations course is a 4-day course which provides participants with the Operations-level knowledge and skills needed to respond to incidents of natural or human-caused disaster and to use appropriate protocols and equipment to achieve mission objectives. Participants are trained to assess problems and risks, plan for team response, select equipment and instrumentation appropriate to the event, perform the required tasks according to the Environmental Health response protocol, and perform reporting and follow-up as instructed. The majority of the course is conducted through hands-on operational practice or response to simulated events. Participants perform Environmental Health Responder tasks while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) Levels C and D. The course also includes training at the COBRATF where participants engage in scenario-based exercises that require critical thinking skills related to the selection and use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) detection and sampling instruments.

Below are some, but not all, of the critical skill sets learned during this training program:

  • Prepare as a team to respond to suspected water supply contamination in a potentially hazardous environment. Determine remediation options for chemical and bacterial water supply contamination.
  • Calculate health and safety requirements for the displaced population and estimated length of stay using the CDC Environmental Health Assessment Form for Shelters. Recommend equipment and upgrades needed to create a healthy and safe environment for proposed shelter population.
  • Assess food sources for emergency mass feeding operations and food handling of providers. Identify potential for, address, and report on foodborne illness.
  • Identify non-structural building-related safety and health hazards. Communicate complex environmental health and safety information to non-technical audiences including media and members of the public.

Course Prerequisites and Requirements

Successful completion of:

Exceptions to any of the above prerequisites may be granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) Registrar.

Course Length

3.2 days

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