259629 Identification of training needs to support interface between civilian and military emergency responders in disasters

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Marian Levy, DrPH, RD , School of Public Health, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Marla B. Royne, PhD , Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Robert Koch, DNSc, RN , Loewenberg School of Nursing, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Background/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify training needs that will ensure civilian nursing, public health and allied health professionals, and emergency responders can effectively interface with military operations for emergency response in the event of a large-scale catastrophe. Methods: A web-based survey was conducted with civilian medical practitioners and public health professionals (n=673) residing in two regions of the US (southeast and mid-west) to identify their perceptions of issues and training needs related to civilian-military interface in disaster response. Results/Outcomes: Data indicated a significant knowledge gap of civilian healthcare providers to effectively interface with military healthcare providers. Nearly three-fourths of respondents reported that they did not think they were well-trained to work with the military during a disaster response or were unsure as to whether they were well-trained for a disaster response partnership. Key areas for additional training included (in rank order) communication, chain of command during a disaster, and logistics of working with military personnel. Barriers to training included expense; ineffective, boring formats; and excessive time requirements. Over 90% of respondents favored interactive, hands-on exercises rather than didactic training. Conclusions: Poor communication and lack of familiarity with military culture create barriers to effective coordinated response between military units and civilian responders in federal disaster response. Identifying gaps and training needs for civilian medical responders has far-reaching implications in public health's ability to coordinate medical response as part of Emergency Support Function (ESF)-8.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Identify cultural discrepancies between civilian and military orientations in disaster response Name key training areas to enhance effective coordination of emergency services in disasters requiring cilivian-military interface

Keywords: Disasters, Emergency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-investigator on this research project and played an integral role in the survey design and data collection methodology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.