Glossary of Emergency Response Terms

 
Asymptomatic – causing or showing no disease symptoms
 
Bioterrorism (BT) – the use of living agents, such as a manmade or natural disease pathogens, to attack people, animals, and plants.
 
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal agency
 
Clinic – a location or site where staff distribute prophylactic medications or vaccinations to exposed, asymptomatic clients
 
Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) – a federal agency
 
Disaster – any occurrence that causes damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life or deterioration of health and health services on a scale sufficient to warrant an extraordinary response from outside the affected community areas
 
Dispense – to fill a prescription written by a lawfully licensed clinician. Dispensing can only be done by a licensed pharmacist or under the direction of a licensed pharmacist .
 
Distribute – to deliver medication through means other than administration or dispensing
 
Emergency – a sudden occurrence demanding immediate action that may be due to epidemics, technological catastrophes, or strife from natural or man-made causes
 
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) – operated by the Vermont Department of Public Safety Emergency Management program
 
Epi – epidemiology; the study of the spread of diseases within and between populations
 
EPU – Vermont Department of Health Emergency Preparedness Unit
 
Health Alert Network (HAN) – a web-based communication network designed to provide timely information to emergency health care workers, physicians, nurses, mental health practitioners and others. It is linked to the National Health Alert Network through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Through this communication system Vermont receives up-to-date information concerning bioterrorism and other health threats.
 
Health Operations Center (HOC) – set up at Vermont Department of Health
 
Incident Command System (ICS) – a standardized organizational structure used to command, control, and coordinate the use of resources and personnel that have responded to the scene of an emergency. The concepts and principles for ICS include common terminology, modular organization, integrated communication, unified command structure, consolidated action plan, manageable span of control, designated incident facilities, and comprehensive resource management

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Job Action Sheet – a document which can be used during any event describing the general duties of a position
 
LEPCs – Local Emergency Planning Commission
 
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – any devices or clothing worn to protect against hazards in the environment. Examples are respirators, gloves, and chemical splash goggles.
 
Prophylaxis – the prevention of disease in exposed, asymptomatic patients
 
Screening (Medical Screening) – determination by a clinician (or representative of a clinician) of patients' medical conditions, drug allergies, or other special needs
 
Special Needs Clients – clients requiring special attention or effort. Special needs clients may receive medications at clinics or through secondary distribution. Examples of special needs clients include: homebound; prison inmates; pregnant and breastfeeding women; hearing or visually impaired; non-ambulatory, etc.
 
Staging Area – location designed to collect available resources near incident area
 
Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) – large quantities of medications and medical supplies possessed by the Federal government that can be used to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency
 
Symptomatic – showing symptoms of disease
 
Task Sheet – a document which accompanies a Job Action Sheet and describes the incident- and clinic-specific actions required of each position
 
Treatment – any specific procedure or drug used for the cure or amelioration of a disease or pathological condition
 
Triage – the screening and classification of symptomatic and asymptomatic persons upon presentation at a clinic site
 
VDH – Vermont Department of Health
 
VERV – Vermont Emergency Response Volunteers
 
Volunteer – a person who performs or offers to perform a service of his/her own free will
 
Affiliated Volunteer – a volunteer who has previously registered with the Vermont Department of Health
 
Spontaneous Volunteer – a volunteer arriving on the scene after an event with no prior registration with the Vermont Department of Health or without a specific request from the Vermont Department of Health

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