Emergency Preparedness Training Offerings

Our emergency preparedness consultants work with clients across all levels of government, public and private schools, healthcare, EMS, CMS-regulated agencies, and commercial businesses.

We offer workshops, retreats, break-out sessions, or keynote presentations for any size group.

Assisting Individuals in Crisis, a CISM-Approved Instructor Course

Crisis intervention is NOT psychotherapy; it is a specialized acute emergency mental health intervention that requires specialized training. As physical first aid is to surgery, crisis intervention is to psychotherapy. Thus, crisis intervention is sometimes called "emotional first aid".

  • Teaches participants the fundamentals of and a specific protocol for individual crisis intervention
  • Designed for anyone who desires to increase their knowledge of individual (one-on-one) crisis intervention techniques in the fields of business and industry, crisis intervention, disaster response, education, emergency services, employee assistance, healthcare, homeland security, mental health, military, spiritual care, and traumatic stress

This is a two-day International Critical Incident Stress Foundation course taught by Aimee.

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Group Crisis Intervention, a CISM-Approved Instructor Course

  • Presents the core elements of a comprehensive, systematic, and multi-component crisis intervention curriculum
  • Prepare participants to understand a wide range of crisis intervention services

This training outlines the fundamentals of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), and participants will leave with the knowledge and tools to provide several group crisis interventions.

This is a two-day International Critical Incident Stress Foundation course taught by Aimee.

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Health Equity

Health equity simply means everyone has an equal shot at living their best possible life. Health equity identifies barriers to achieving optimum health and works to eliminate them so that all people have access to the same foundational services, levels of care, and basic social determinants of health. Often, health equity is best addressed through policy that ensures that health equity is being considered when decision-makers are voting on issues that may have an impact on population health.

A Health In All Policies (HIAP) approach is how Optima EP addresses health equity with the organizations it serves, ensuring that health equity will be embedded throughout all layers of your agency. Contact us to learn more about the training and policy support we offer.

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Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB)

Optima EP staff have directly led public health agencies through both accreditation and re-accreditation, and have mentored nine other public health agencies to achieve their accreditation goals as well. Let us conduct a gap assessment and provide recommendations, tools, and resources, coupled with one-to-one technical support to get your agency to meet or exceed PHAB guidelines.

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COVID Recovery Series

Living and working through a global pandemic has taken a toll on our personal and professional lives. As we move toward recovery, it is vital to name, acknowledge, and integrate some of the challenges and struggles we've all faced. This 90-minute session will explore concepts such as traumatic and cumulative stress reactions, personal and collective grief, honoring loss, and celebrating individual and team resilience to answer the question, "Now what?". We will include some tools and resources to help you and your team strategically and confidently thrive post-pandemic.

Facilitated Peer Discussion:

Come to share your thoughts and reflections on your COVID story in a safe environment with your peers through a facilitated discussion with a focus on questions such as: 

  • What role(s) did you have during the COVID response?
  • What were some of the hardest or most challenging moments during the past two years?
  • Where are you feeling "stuck"?
  • What did you learn about yourself or your team during the response?

Explore strategies for recovery and building resilience such as transitioning, reframing, and managing expectations. (60-90-minute session)

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Volunteer Reception Center

When an emergency happens, people in the community want to help. This training will provide participants with a complete and practical plan on how to register, assign, and manage spontaneous volunteers for response and recovery activities. This training is intended for Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, public health emergency preparedness planners, and any other interested individuals. 

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CMS Partner Virtual Exercises

  • Complete a functional, community-based exercise in your own facility with no travel required
  • Intended for healthcare coalitions or corporate agencies with multiple physical locations
  • Can accommodate up to 50 participating organizations at one time

Package includes:

  • Design Team Meetings (up to three, if desired)
  • Registration and Marketing Materials
  • Trusted Agent Prep Meeting (30 minutes)
  • Evaluator Prep Meeting (30 minutes)
  • Virtual Exercise Facilitation (2 hours)
  • Completion of an HSEEP Compliant After-Action Report within 60 Days

Sample exercises include:

  • The Big Bad Thing (cyber security)
  • Operation Open Door (evacuation and receiving facilities)
  • Not your Typical Pumpkin Spice (extreme weather and power outage)
  • Operation Shelter in Place (hazardous materials incident)

We will customize your training to meet your design scenario.

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Health Literacy

Throughout the spectrum of what is known as healthcare, the myriad of agencies that provide services or care to the public is immense. Each agency, in order to be as successful as possible, needs to be able to articulate its mission, services, care, education, and guidance to the clients they serve in a way that is clearly received, understood, and can be properly acted upon. This is especially difficult in healthcare with the technical medical jargon that is often used.

Health Literacy is a standardized, evidence-based practice that strives to simplify how healthcare speaks to its clients and ensures understanding, thus leading to better patient outcomes. Optima EP provides a variety of ways to embed health literacy into your practices and programs.

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Family Assistance Center & Reunification

When major incidents or disasters happen, loved ones can get separated from each other. Unfortunately, when fatalities occur, positive identifications need to be made so that families can be notified and reunited with their loved ones to start the process of honoring, healing, and recovery.

Family assistance and reunification centers follow a standardized process under the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to ensure that this process runs smoothly and efficiently, minimizes error, and provides optimum liability protection under local, regional, state, and federal emergency declarations. Optima EP provides didactic training as well as exercises to ensure your agency or jurisdiction understands the functions of this important emergency response resource.

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Hospital or Nursing Home Incident Command (NHICS)

Have new leadership, or need a refresher? Emergency response thrives on an organized, flexible, scalable system with clear roles and responsibilities. Learn the basics of the Incident Command System or more complex concepts such as establishing incident objectives, unified command, and incident action planning.

No Incident Command System training is complete without the ability to practice key concepts. Plan to include a 1-1/2- hour tabletop exercise in your training.

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Disaster Preparedness for Faith Communities within the Community Response

Faith communities have resources such as buildings and people as well as a desire to serve the community in times of need. Understanding how to plug into your community response is crucial to making the biggest difference. This session explores how to assess and prepare your resources, train your members, and actively practice responding effectively and efficiently to help those in need. 

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Faith Communities Are an Extension of Public Health

Faith communities may not naturally see themselves as extensions of Public Health, but they are! This is an opportunity to understand some basic concepts of Public Health and how being a part of a community of faith is a social element of health. Explore how faith communities play an essential role in health education, health equity, and even access to healthcare. 

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You Have an Emergency Plan. What does that mean and have you practiced?

As a good community partner, you've volunteered to share your building to help your school, senior center, or local government during an emergency. Your facility is now "written into the emergency plan", but you're not sure what that means! We will discuss key elements of emergency response such as planning, notification, activation, recovery, and most importantly, training and practice. Don't be caught off-guard once you've been identified as a community resource.

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Noah, the First Emergency Manager: Preparedness as an Act of Stewardship

Noah was faced with an extreme weather event and rose to the challenge of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a natural disaster. What can we learn from Noah as we live our lives and seek to be good stewards of personal and community resources? How do we ensure we care for all community members, especially in a time of disaster? 

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Succession Planning

The top businesses begin planning for succession well before a notice of retirement or letter of resignation is on their doorstep. Your staff are your most valuable asset, and not capturing the institutional knowledge of key staff who leave your agency can cost your business thousands in re-training, orientation, and lowered productivity. Let our team assist with developing a simple succession plan with tools that actually work!

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Ethics Planning

Is your agency founded on a core of ethics? How do you know? In alignment with health equity, do you follow a process for making decisions that are ethics-based? How do you handle complaints from your customers? Are they reviewed in a standardized way through an ethics lens? Let our team assist you in developing an ethics plan that will complement your health equity plan, ensuring your agency is built on a foundation of ethical practices and principles.

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Mass Clinic/POD Planning

Most people are now familiar with the term mass clinic or Point of Dispensing (POD). Public Health, and the healthcare system in general, have utilized this concept to administer high volumes of vaccines to people throughout the pandemic. Our team can assist you with POD planning, including site assessment, floor plan layout, security plan, and throughput estimates. Let us help you customize a solid plan for your community.

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FAST (Functional Assessment Service Team) Training

If a disaster emergency shelter is opened, pre-incident planning and response coordination is essential to safely care for all community residents including those with access and functional needs. Our training encourages your staff or volunteers to consider shelter operations from a different point of view. 

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Emergency Operations Plan Development or Review

If your agency or organization is struggling to find the time or resources to develop, write, or revise your Emergency Operations Plans, we are here to assist! We will meet with you to provide a localized plan that works! 

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Emergency Preparedness Education Series

This 9-part series gives an overview of key Emergency Preparedness topics to help prepare your agency leaders and staff. Additional topics of interest can be added. 

  • Creating a Culture of Emergency Preparedness
  • What's New with the Emergency Preparedness Ruling? Appendix Z
  • Risk Assessments and Emergency Preparedness planning
  • Health Equity in Emergency Preparedness planning
  • Health Literacy in Emergency Preparedness planning and why it matters.
  • Emergency Preparedness Succession planning
  • Now What? Building a Resilient team Post-COVID
  • Nuring Home Incident Command System (NHICS)
  • A Tale of Two Facilities: Planning for an Emergency Evacuation
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