The public health emergency disaster responder course is part of the new Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response certificate in the department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. It examines and applies the challenges of collaborating, coordinating, and interfacing with internal and external emergency management response partners, both during a response and during the post-response phase of an emergency.
Part of the course includes a “Decontamination Day,” a real-time drill in which students must suit up and follow protocols as if they were in a real disaster. The goal is to advance the theoretical skill set by immersing students in skill-driven activities. The approach prepares students for employment opportunities in the field ranging from middle management to planning and implementation in response duties.
“By the end of the day, students had bonded, worked as a team, and were proud to be part of a class that allows them time outside the classroom to be engaged in real-world or potential real-world experiences,” said Dr. Kreisberg, senior clinical instructor in environmental and occupational health for ColoradoSPH.
To read one student’s account of the experience, click here.