Pre-Deployment – ERHMS

Pre-Deployment Phase

blue circle - PRE-DEPLOYMENT

Rostering and Credentialing of Emergency Response and Recovery Workers


a man collecting credentials recovery workers

A basic principle of safety and health in emergency response is to maintain accountability for all emergency responders. The registration and credentialing system for emergency response and recovery workers should support four functions designed to operate with one another:

  1. Registration – Recording basic and credential information on the worker.
  2. Emergency credentialing – Assigning a credential level based on responder certification and education.
  3. Re-verification – Periodically confirming responder information.
  4. Emergency badging – Assigning an identification badge in accordance with the credential level.

Since the information requirements of each function are interdependent, these four functions should be integrated within a single database.

Tools & Resources

Pre-deployment Health Screening for Emergency Responders

woman conducting a health screening

Within the framework of an ERHMS program, pre-deployment health screening is intended to establish a baseline physical and emotional health status. Such information may be found from an entrance physical examination to determine fitness for duty, or from subsequent fitness-for-duty examinations. This baseline information allows for more informed interpretation of possible post-deployment adverse effects and is potentially valuable when exposure information is difficult to obtain or interpret or is absent. Baseline health assessment should address the responder’s physical health, emotional health, and immunization status. In addition to providing baseline health information, the pre-deployment screening can serve as an opportunity to assess whether the response has persons with the appropriate education, training, and experience to perform in the assigned response capacities.

Tools & Resources

Health and Safety Training

Health training

Training is critical for the preparedness of the responder. The responder is required to be fully prepared to perform duty-specific tasks, which may have federal, state, or locally mandated training requirements. The ability of the responder to recognize and avoid possible health and safety incidents will affect the responder’s performance, survivability, and resilience during and after the disaster response. Regardless of the training a responder has received prior to a disaster, there will be a need for training focused on site-specific hazards, operating procedures, and available resources.

Ongoing analysis of ERHMS data during the response must identify training needs and changes in procedures that could reduce injuries, illnesses, and near misses. Additionally, the ERHMS program can provide valuable post-disaster data to evaluate the impact of responder training, including site-specific training on overall injury and illness rates for responders and specific illnesses and injuries.

Tools & Resources

Data Management and Information Security


one man talking on the telephone and another working at a computer

Computer databases provide an excellent format for management of emergency responders’ information throughout all phases of disaster preparedness and response. However, this information includes private and personally identifiable information that may be collected and reported in a variety of formats. To maintain privacy required by law and to facilitate efficient communication between responding agencies, stored information must be secure and computer systems must be compatible. As agencies begin ERHMS-related activities for their employees, addressing these issues in the pre-deployment phase will ensure accurate management of responders during deployment and enable reliable, comprehensive monitoring and surveillance post-deployment.

There are six steps recommended for developing an effective pre-deployment information system security plan for use in the field:

  • Step 1 – Form an information security structure. This can be one individual, such as the Information Security Officer, whose responsibility is to lead the development and implementation of all information security policies and procedures.
  • Step 2 – Perform a baseline assessment of security needs. Identify and evaluate any pre-existing internal policies and procedures, mutual contracts or obligations, and all security-related assets.
  • Step 3 – Identify relevant laws, regulations, and statutes applicable to the agency and information collected.
  • Step 4 – Develop a work plan. Outline the necessary steps and responsibilities based on the baseline assessment and the applicable regulations.
  • Step 5 – Acquire and implement necessary security procedures.
  • Step 6 – Begin to manage risk through incremental changes.

These steps can significantly improve information confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Tools & Resources