The Public Health Preparedness Program
The Public Health Preparedness (PHP) Program at the Jefferson and Madison County Health Departments were designed to facilitate regional bioterrorism and public health preparedness planning and training efforts. During times of disaster, this enables the health departments to achieve their mission to promote, protect and improve the health of all people, citizens and visitors, to Jefferson and Madison Counties through the delivery of high quality public health services and health care standards. The preparedness program functions as part of the North Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force (NFRDSTF), which is comprised of a 13-county region that stretches from Liberty to Columbia Counties. The NFRDSTF is one of Florida’s seven regional task forces developed by Gov. Jeb Bush after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Jefferson and Madison County Health Departments employ a PHP Coordinator who serves as the planning and training liaison between the health departments and other county emergency response agencies. Their job is to assist the health department in preparing for the possible effects of a manmade or naturally occurring disaster event.
The PHP program conducts annual reviews of the emergency and contingency plans for the health department and makes revisions to ensure feasibility. The program also trains health department staff on critical issues such as: Incident Command System (ICS), Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), and Epidemiology (the study of diseases and their origins).
In addition to training classes, the program regularly conducts training exercises to test the viability of the health department’s plans. These training exercises are sometimes “full-scale,” and they are designed to be as realistic as possible. They require participation by health department staff, and the staffs of other county emergency response agencies. The goal of these exercises is to give county emergency response agencies the chance to practice and build confidence in their ability to protect the citizens of their county during a disaster event.
For more information on the PHP Program contact: