EMERGENCY RESPONDER HEALTH MONITORING AND SURVEILLANCE (ERHMS)
The nation depends on emergency responders to preserve the public’s safety and health when disasters strike. To successfully meet this challenge, emergency responders must be protected from the hazardous conditions that disasters and other emergencies create, whether natural or a result of human action such as the April 15, 2013 tragedy in Boston, MA. A plan for monitoring emergency responder health and safety is an important part of protecting them.
Recognizing this, NIOSH worked with the U.S. National Response Team (NRT), and a number of federal agencies, state health departments, labor unions, and volunteer emergency responder groups to develop the Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) system. The ERHMS provides guidelines for protecting emergency responders over a full range of emergency types and settings. It is for use by all who are involved in deployment and protection of emergency responders. This includes incident management and response organization leadership, health, safety and medical personnel, and emergency responders.
ERHMS consists of an NRT Technical Assistance Document and A Guide for Key Decision Makers. These documents can be found at http://ERHMS.nrt.org/
Three Phases of the ERHMS System
ERHMS Online Training Courses
ERHMS System Training Course WB2254
ERHMS training is now available online. The training is free and provides the necessary tools for implementing health monitoring and surveillance of emergency response workers. Important procedures for pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment are outlined
Continuing education credits can be obtained for those who register and successfully complete the course. Credits include: CEU/CE; CHES; CME; CNE Contact Hours; Pharmacist Contact Hours; and AAVSB/RACE.
We encourage all emergency response coordinators to take the training. To register, go to CDC TRAIN
IS-930: ERHMS System: Leadership Training
This leadership training course introduces the ERHMS system to leaders in organizations responsible for planning and executing incident response activities. The course focuses on optimizing the health and safety of response, remediation, recovery, and volunteer workers. The intended audience includes local, regional, state, tribal, and federal personnel who are responsible for the occupational safety and health of responders.
Participants can receive 0.1 continuing education units for completing the course.
We encourage all emergency response coordinators to take the training.
To register, go to the FEMA website
ERHMS Fact Sheets
- Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance System Overview - May 2013
- Rostering and Credentialing of Emergency Response and Recovery Workers - January 2013
- Pre-deployment Health Screening for Emergency Responders - January 2013
- Health and Safety Training - January 2013
- Data Management and Information Security - January 2013
- On-site Responder In-processing - January 2013
- Health Monitoring and Surveillance During Response Operations - January 2013
- Integration of Exposure Assessment, Responder Activity Documentation, and Controls into ERHMS - January 2013
- Communications of Exposure and Health Monitoring and Surveillance Data During an Emergency Response - January 2013
- Incident Personnel Out-processing Assessment - January 2013
- Post-Event Tracking of Emergency Responder Health and Function - January 2013
- Lessons Learned and After Action Assessments - January 2013
Studies on Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance
- Sleep deprivation and adverse health effects in United States Coast Guard responders to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Sleep Health 2015 Dec; 1(4): 268-274
- Injuries and illnesses among American Red Cross responders - United States, 2008-2012
Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2014 Oct; 8(5):404-410
- Disaster-related exposures and health effects among US Coast Guard responders to hurricanes Katrina and Rita
J Occup Environ Med 2014 Aug; 56(8):820-833
- CDC Health Advisory: Resources Available for Local and State Public Health Officials: Preparing for and Responding to Bombing Events
- CDC Mass Casualty Preparedness and Response Information
- NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program
- NIOSH Traumatic Incident Stress
- OSHA Best Practices Information on Mass Casualty Incidents for Hospital-Based First Receivers
- U.S. Chemical Safety Board
- Page last reviewed: July 10, 2014
- Page last updated: December 1, 2015
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Office of the Director