Federal Emergency Responder Responsibilities through the Deployment Cycle

Federal Emergency Responder Responsibilities through the Deployment Cycle. In accordance with HHS policy, federal response personnel are required to maintain themselves, as well as their requisite supplies and equipment, in a state of deployment readiness prescribed for differing events. Compliance with these regulations ensure responder teams, individual responders and supplies and equipment are fully operational prior to deployment helps to minimize stress, increase coping/resilience and avoid response shortfalls; thus improving overall response operations and community resilience.
As with military forces, federal emergency and disaster responders as well as response operations leadership have key responsibilities during each stage of deployment; steady state, response operations, demobilization and redeployment. What follows is a brief description of each stage of the deployment cycle along with responders’ responsibilities within each stage: Steady-state operations. While federal responders are working in their day-to-day jobs (steady-state), they are responsible to keep current with federal response operations education and training as well as maintain communication channels with their team members. Response operations. When called to duty, federal emergency responders are required to become familiar with the operation to the extent they are able. The team leader is responsible to contact each member to ensure they are physically, mentally and emotionally fit to deploy. Upon arrival at the disaster area, each responder must report to the IRCT and attend the health and safety briefing. While deployed, responders are encouraged to identify, not only for themselves, but for their fellow responders, any lingering and unusual physical, mental, emotional or cognitive signs/symptoms that may compromise their team’s mission for medical attention to the IRCT Safety Officer and/or Behavioral Health Safety Officer. Post-Response demobilization. As when they arrived to the disaster site, responders are responsible to participate in a debriefing with medical and mental health teams for assessment prior to redeployment. At that time, the BHSO records psychological trauma exposures and/or injuries and briefs redeploying responders on the possible after effects, where to find mental health services and tracks their AAR inputs. Redeployment to home station. Once back at home and their steady-state position, responders maintain contact with their team leader for a specified period to report health concerns.