OSense O-Sense

Deployment Teams

The Office of Force Readiness and Deployment (OFRD) has been charged with developing, training, and maintaining the PHS response teams. Environmental Health Officers can serve on any PHS team as long as they have the capabilities required; however, Environmental Health Officers typically serve on either the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) or Applied Public Health Teams (APHT). A complete list and description of PHS teams can be located on OFRD's website. Primary differences between the two deployment roles as they relate to Environmental Health Officers are provided below. Officers not on a PHS team are considered to be Tier 3 Officers; when activated, these officers will typically augment either an RDF or an APHT.

  • RDF- A Tier 1 team, ready to deploy in 12 hours. Primary areas of activities include mass care, point of distribution operations, medical surge, isolation and quarantine, pre-hospital triage and treatment, community outreach and assessment, and humanitarian assistance.
  • APHT- A Tier 2 team, ready to deploy in 36 hours. Primary areas of activities include epidemiology/surveillance, preventive (medical) services delivery, environmental public health (air, water, wastes, vectors, food, safety, shelter, industrial hygiene, etc.)
  • Regional Incident Support Team (RIST) – A Tier 1 team, ready to deploy in 12 hours within the assigned HHS region. RIST deployments are typically very short, and are deployable year-round. Officers live and work within the deployment region. Primary areas of activities include rapid event needs assessment; support and direction for incoming response assets; liaison with State, Tribal and local officials; on-site incident management; response asset health and safety.
  • National Incident Support Team (NIST) – A Tier 1 team, ready to deploy in 12 hours. Primary areas of activities include continual event needs assessment; support and direction for incoming response assets; coordination of deployed field assets; liaison with State, Tribal and local officials; on-site incident management; response asset health and safety; demobilization support.
  • Capitol Area Provider Teams (CAP) – A Tier 2 team, ready to deploy in 36 hours. CAPs provide medical and public health resources and assistance in the National Capitol Region for special events and other planned activities. Primary areas of activities include first responder and primary care; basic and advanced life support; pre-hospital triage and treatment; point of distribution operation (mass prophylaxis and vaccination); medical surge; on-site incident management; worker health and safety.
  • Mental Health Team (MHT) – A Tier 2 team, ready to deploy in 36 hours, staffed primarily with mental health and social work officers. Primary areas of activities include incident personnel assessment (diagnosis and treatment); screening for suicide risk, acute and chronic stress reactions, substance abuse, and mental health disorders; supporting development of behavioral health training programs for impacted populations; specialized counseling; psychological first aid, crisis intervention, and time-limited counseling for serious mental illness and/or substance abuse.
  • Services Access Team (SAT) – A Tier 2 team, ready to deploy in 36 hours. Primary areas of activities include needs assessment, plan development/cultural sensitivity; advocating/connecting populations to services; clinical care coordination; continuity/transition management; psycho-social management; re-integration; and confidentiality assurance.