Emergency Operations Center – Risk Assessment & Response to Public Health Threats
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOsC) is a crucial element for the normal and smooth operation of the HCDCP. The main function of the EOsC is receiving and processing information regarding Public Health issues. Thus, it is very important to have reliable sources of information. The EOsC receives information from:
- public and private sectors of health area such as hospitals and private clinics etc,
- other sectors and institutes such as districts, police department, fire department etc,
- private practitioners,
- and civilians.
The EOsC’s responsibility is to develop an interdisciplinary cooperation and communication between the stakeholders and also the implementation of HCDCP health strategy in cooperation with relevant departments and offices of the Organization. Emergency Operation Center is in the front line for all issues relating to public health, the first to be informed for and to evaluate news for health threats in Greece, in Europe, in the world.
The EOsC personnel have extensive experience and training on project development and management of understanding and dealing with incidents involving the Public Health. These incidents may come from known pathogens, new emerging diseases and deliberate release of agents (biological, chemical, radiological agents). Also the EOsC personnel have significant experience in participation in tabletop exercises at the EU level.
The EOsC operates 24/7 – 365 and is the only fully staffed operations center able to coordinate and responsible to activate and assist the emergency response teams in dealing with public health issues maintaining a link with all local state and federal agencies. The EOsC gathers and monitors information through classified and official sites on the everyday, producing information reports that are shared with the press bureau of the organization. The EOsC recommends develops, produces special plans and guidelines for crisis and risk management, maintains direct contact with the President, board of directors and the General Director office, also gathers information needed and compiles with general guidelines.
The EOsC is also in direct cooperation with the hotline for smoking: 1142 and psychological support line for HIV /AIDS: 210 7222222.
A branch of the EOsC is the bureau of risk assessment and response to acute public health threats.
The branch provides central operational information sharing and resource coordination in support of on-scene efforts on deliberate release threats, giving technical assistance related to environmental concerns to on-scene commanders. It has extensive experience and expertise in matters relating to incidents of deliberate release of biological agents. This experience was acquired particularly after trainings of office’s staff in national and international level during the Olympic Games in 2004.
The actions of the office are:
- Communication with relevant Directorate General of the EU dealing with issues of CBRN threats such as: DG SANCO and DG JLS(Justice, Freedom and Security).
- Communication with all stakeholders involved to address the CBRN threats at National level.
- Daily monitoring of international sites. These sites inform the office about potential events that could threaten Public Health (WHO, ECDC, HEDIS, MedISys, proMED-mail, CDC, IAEA).
- Develops and produces special plans and guidelines.