FL Dept of Health in Pinellas - Public Health Preparedness Manager
8751 Ulmerton Road, STE 2000
Largo, FL 33771
Public Health Preparedness Response Training
Emergency planning at the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is organized and managed by the Public Health Preparedness (PHP) program. The PHP program makes sure Health Department staff are trained in emergency duty so that they are able to assist residents of Pinellas County during a disaster. The Health Department works closely with many local agencies to make sure that all health and medical organizations are prepared to respond to a disaster in Pinellas County.
The Key Response Training Activities below will give you an idea of the breadth and scope of the planning that DOH-Pinellas does in its effort to be fully prepared to assist the residents and visitors of Pinellas County.
Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS)
The City of St. Petersburg received funding in September of 2000 to convene the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) committee. Prior to HRSA grant funding streams, MMRS was the only source of money available for hospitals to enhance their preparedness. Funding was used to purchase emergency ventilators, radios, radiological monitoring systems and PPE for the hospitals in Pinellas County. It was also used to create a pharmaceutical cache and provide Mark-1 kits for first responder agencies.
The MMRS committee in Pinellas County has been touted as the “most successful MMRS in the country” according to the federal regulating agency. MMRS members are represented at Urban Area Security Initiative meetings and several state working groups, including the Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF).
Response Training and Exercises
Training may be provided in the following categories:
- NIMS: 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, & 800
- Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
- Surveillance & Epidemiology
- Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT)
- SNS Clinic/ POD Operations
- Pandemic, Avian, & Seasonal Flu
- Food Safety
- Hand Hygiene/Infection Control
PHP helps to coordinate exercises in Pinellas County, including the annual Mass Casualty Exercise as well as providing evaluation for other events in the state. Staff have been trained in the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).
The Family Preparedness Guide is available in three languages.
- Smallpox was feared for centuries because it caused serious illness, scarring, and in 30% of the cases, death. The last case of endemic smallpox was in Somalia in 1977 and the last case in the world was a laboratory-acquired infection in 1978. Smallpox is known to exist today only in laboratories in Moscow and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. However, there are fears that stocks of smallpox exist outside these laboratories and could be used during a terrorist attack.
- The goal of smallpox response is to identify, train, and vaccinate teams of professionals in Public Health, hospital healthcare settings and the first responder community. Individuals considering smallpox vaccination should be well informed about smallpox disease, the vaccine, and its side effects – including potentially life-threatening reactions. Information regarding smallpox can be accessed using the following link: