Emergency preparedness volunteer training program

J Public Health Manag Pract. 2005 Nov:Suppl:S63-7. doi: 10.1097/00124784-200511001-00011.


The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) does not have sufficient personnel to fully staff a mass prophylaxis or vaccination clinic in response to a natural or man-made disease outbreak. Therefore, the VDH developed an emergency preparedness volunteer training program with three primary goals: to include both background information about public health and emergency preparedness and a hands-on training for clinic volunteers; to be adaptable for both community and healthcare professional volunteers; and to examine local emergencies and the VDH public health response to these events. Major components of the training program include basic public health goals and capacities; an introduction to emergency preparedness; a role-playing exercise using Job Action Sheets to simulate "just-in-time" training; and guidance for personal and family preparedness. The VDH has experienced difficulty finding and recruiting volunteers. To increase the potential volunteer pool, it will be implementing a multifaceted training program (on-line, through the mail, in person) to most effectively engage volunteers with varying interests and learning styles. The VDH must also develop a system to maintain regular contact with volunteers and clarify regulations regarding their scope of practice and liability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Disaster Planning / methods*
  • Disaster Planning / organization & administration
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Education, Public Health Professional / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Vermont
  • Volunteers / education*