In most emergency scenarios the role of Public Health is “environmental surety”. This can be described as making sure that secondary impacts such as infection, or illness caused by consuming contaminated food and water is reduced or eliminated. This may be achieved through inspections or issuing advisories or orders. An example of this is a Boil Water Order – issued when there is a risk of contamination of a drinking water supply (operators of water systems may also issue Boil Water Advisories). We also have specific roles in other scenarios. To find out about the Health Unit’s role in a radiological emergency view our ERP Senario.
In “biological emergencies” which are scenario’s where the primary risk is disease the Public Health Unit has a more central role to response. The Grey Bruce Health Unit may be involved with investigations, contact tracing, vaccination and communication. Examples of these types of scenarios include epidemics such as pandemic influenza.
In these situations we work closely with the Province’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and Health Canada. We also utilise information from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Health Unit has developed an Emergency Response Plan to help it prepare for emergency situations.
Emergency Response Plan
The Health Unit is often asked to be a member of Municipal or County Emergency Control Groups. We also take part in exercises that are run by these groups. This allows us direct communication with other agencies and promotes better planning for and response to emergency situations.
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