Online Training Resources

The following training courses and tools have been developed to help prepare staff and volunteers to assist during public health emergencies and are designed for all occupational areas. Training sessions may not be accepted by local program coordinators in lieu of training requirements, so it is recommended that persons check with their program coordinator before taking these sessions.

University of Minnesota Online Trainings and Products

All of the online training and products can be accessed at: http://www.sph.umn.edu/academics/ce/online/

The projects were developed by the University of Minnesota Center for Public Health Preparedness (UMNCPHP) supported in part through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Grant Cooperative Agreement Number U90CCU524264 and U90TP524264. Principal Investigator: Debra Olson. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the CDC.

1. Minnesota Responds Medical Reserve Corps: An Online Orientation for Volunteers

Description: This module is designed to introduce participants to the Minnesota Responds Medical Reserve Corps, or MRC, and to illustrate how Minnesota MRC Units have been deployed, both in and out of state. It provides information regarding MRC member preparation prior to deployment as well as what a volunteer can expect at the time of deployment. The module is intended to complement additional training volunteers will receive through face-to-face meetings with their local MRC Unit, online training modules recommended by MRC Coordinators, and "just in time" training provided on site when you participate in an actual MRC deployment or exercise.

Participants are eligible to receive up to 0.1 CEU or 1.0 (60 minute) contact hour for successful completion of training including pre-test, post-test and evaluation.

Objectives
Upon successful completion of this orientation, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the history and mission of the Medical Reserve Corps.
  • List the types of MRC volunteers needed.
  • Discuss how the Minnesota Responds MRC Registry assists coordinators in the activation of MRC Units.
  • Provide examples of natural and manmade disasters.
  • Provide examples of emergency and non-emergency deployments of the Medical Reserve Corps
  • Describe pre-deployment activities of the MRC member, including registration, orientation and pre-deployment training.
  • Recognize the core competencies that are used to guide member training
  • Describe the MRC activation and deployment procedures.

2. The Off-Site Care Facility - An Alternate Care Site: A Primer for Volunteers

Description: This training provides an overview of the general operations of an off-site care facility (also referred to as Alternate Care Site). It is an orientation for individuals who may be asked to work in these facilities during an emergency. The program is intended to complement "just in time" training provided on site at the time of the emergency.

Participants are eligible to receive up to 0.1 CEU or 1.0 contact hour for completion of training including pre-test, post-test and evaluation.

Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of the program, participants will be able to describe:

  • An off-site care facility or Alternate Care Site and its purpose in a public health emergency
  • The preparation of the volunteer, including credentialing and personal preparedness, prior to deployment to an off-site care facility
  • The concept of the incident command structure as it applies to an off-site care facility
  • Basic or austere medical care provided in an Off-Site Care Facility and the rationale for this type of medical treatment, and

3. Mass Dispensing Sites: A Primer for Volunteers

Description: This training is designed to provide an overview of the general operations of mass dispensing sites and serves as an orientation for individuals who may be asked to work in those sites during an emergency. It is intended to complement "just in time" training provided on site at the time of deployment. Volunteers including MRC and CERT members and others including public health staff may find this training beneficial. Your volunteer coordinator may request that you provide her/him with your completed volunteer assessment form and course certificate to be maintained as part of your training record.

Participants are eligible to receive a certificate upon completion of the training, including pre-test, post-test and evaluation.

Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of the program, participants will be able to describe:

  • The important role that volunteers will play in a large public health emergency.
  • Key issues that volunteers should understand in advance of an emergency and where additional information on these issues can be found.
  • Why mass dispensing is a national priority for planning, training, and exercises.
  • How the federal Strategic National Stockpile, or SNS, fits into overall public health emergency response.
  • Challenges to operating mass dispensing sites.
  • Basic site design and patient flow in a mass dispensing site.
  • The types of positions that must be staffed for effective operation.
  • The command structure used to manage sites.

4. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS): A Primer for Volunteers

Description: This training provides an initial orientation to the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) for individuals who plan to volunteer during an emergency or disaster. The course is designed to help volunteers understand the standardized organizational structure and communication system they are likely to encounter while responding to a crisis. Additionally, this training can serve as a 'just in time' review of these basic principles.

Volunteer organizations may require their volunteers to participate in additional training on these topics. Volunteers will want to consult with their coordinator regarding specific training requirements.

Participants are eligible to receive up to 0.1 CEU or 1.0 (60 minute) contact hour for successful completion of training including pre-test, post-test and evaluation.

Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • List the basic components of the National Incident Management System, or NIMS
  • Describe the Incident Command System, or ICS, and the concept of chain of command during an emergency event
  • Discuss the advantages of using a standard or common language when various organizations and groups respond to an emergency
  • Explain how the Job Action Sheets assist the volunteer to identify job title, supervisor and job responsibilities before, during and at the end of a volunteer shift
  • Describe the volunteer's role in communication with a supervisor, other responders, the media and the general public
  • Discuss the importance of having a personal preparedness plan in place prior to deployment
  • Identify potential roles for volunteers within the Incident Command System

5. Tools for Managing Volunteers During and After a Disaster

Description: The following tools have been developed for Medical Reserve Corps Coordinators, Public Health Agencies or any organization that may deploy volunteers to assist during or after an emergency or disaster. Communicating clearly with volunteers prior to their deployment, evaluating the site from the perspective of volunteer safety and receiving feedback from volunteers all contribute to promoting volunteer satisfaction and effective response.

  • Developing a Volunteer Code of Conduct
  • Important Information Prior to Deployment
  • Post-Deployment Hotwash
  • Sample Packing List
  • Staff Evaluation Example
  • Volunteer Feedback Form
  • Volunteer Safety

6. Dirty Bomb! After the Blast - Online Simulation

Description: During a political rally for Senator Lund, the unexpected happens - a Dirty Bomb! The community needs you to use your public health emergency skills to make decisions on behalf of the responders during the emergency response. This online simulation allows you to apply concepts learned in the PHET online modules and is designed to be utilized after you have completed following modules: Decontamination, Mass Fatalities, Disaster Mental Health, Personal Protective Equipment, and Special Populations.

7. Decontamination

Description: This training describes decontamination methods and equipment, and identifies basic principles, standards and regulations for decontamination operations.

Participants are eligible to receive up to .05 CEUs or 0.5 (60 minute) contact hours for completion of training including pre-test, post test and evaluation.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the purpose of decontamination
  • Identify the standards regulating decontamination
  • Describe the basic equipment used for decontamination
  • Distinguish between emergency and technical decontamination
  • Explain the process for decontamination in emergencies
  • Prioritize patients for decontamination

8. Special Populations

Description: This training describes the specific needs and barriers faced by special populations and explain how to accommodate their needs in emergency situations.

Participants are eligible to receive up to.05 CEUs or 0.5 contact hours for completion of training including pre-test, post test and evaluation.

Learning Objectives
at the conclusion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Define special populations
  • Identify barriers faced by these populations
  • Collaborate with local resources to meet the needs of special populations
  • Adjust emergency operating procedures to accommodate special populations

9. Personal Protective Equipment

Description: This training explains the hierarchy of controls to manage hazards; describes various types of personal protective equipment (PPE), and outlines standards and programs for proper use.

Participants are eligible to receive up to.05 CEUs or 0.5 contact hours for completion of training including pre-test, post test and evaluation.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify types of hazards
  • Explain the hierarchy of controls
  • Describe standards that regulate the use of PPE
  • Identify the types of PPE
  • Describe general elements of PPE and respiratory protection programs

10. Disaster in Franklin County: A Public Health Simulation

Description: In this simulation, the learner will assume the perspective of various public health professionals responding to a natural disaster. They will make decisions on behalf of a county public health director, a public health nurse, an environmental health specialist, and other public health professionals. By approaching the emerging public health issues from these perspectives, the players gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand, the decisions that colleagues in other disciplines face, and how those decisions impact his or her area of expertise. A Group Facilitator's Guide is also available that provides instructions for conducting group activities where group participants learn from each other in addition to learning from the online simulation.

This simulation focuses on the application of public health response and recovery principles related to the following topics, but are not intended to provide a thorough foundation in these topics:

  • Incident Command System
  • Risk Communication
  • Food Safety
  • Disaster Mental Health
  • Disaster Preparedness

Voluntary participation in this simulation provides data for an evaluation of how individuals respond to a simulated emergency.

In this simulation, the learner will:

  • Identify public health concerns resulting from the simulated natural disaster.
  • Apply risk communication principles to public health concerns associated with the simulated natural disaster.
  • Correlate characters' attributes to roles within the Public Health Incident Command System.
  • Describe the primary roles in an Emergency Operations Center.
  • Choose appropriate actions within the simulated scenario to minimize risk associated with food safety.
  • Describe the roles of public health disciplines within the simulated disaster.
  • Identify at least two individual knowledge gaps associated with the simulated scenario.
  • Integrate learnings about the public health response and recovery of other public health disciplines into future disaster planning.

11. Crisis Intervention during Disasters

Description: The goal of this module is to help you identify reactions to trauma and take appropriate and effective action to assist individuals in crisis.

Participants are eligible to receive up to .05 CEUs or 0.5 (60 minute) contact hour for completion of training including pre-test, post test and evaluation.

Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Define crisis intervention.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of distress.
  • Describe two tools for effective crisis interventions.
  • Outline strategies for preventing and managing survivor and responder stress.

12. Psychological First Aid: A Minnesota Community Supported Model

Description: This course was designed as an overview for MRC volunteers, hospital personnel, disaster responders, and first-responders, to the concepts and applications of psychological first aid as it applies to assisting survivors and fellow responders impacted by a disaster or emergency event, particularly in the field during a response. This training may also be useful to other individuals when dealing with a personal crisis situation in their family, community or work place.

Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles and techniques of PFA as they apply to a disaster response.
  • Identify at least seven common physical, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, spiritual, and sensory reactions to a traumatic event in adults and children.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the concept footprint of disaster as a model for the impact of a disaster on people physically and emotionally over time.
  • When provided with scenarios and profiles select and provide appropriate PFA responses to individuals presenting with common reactions, positive coping strategies, maladaptive coping strategies and severe reactions to traumatic events.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of responder stressors and principles of self-care as they apply to a personal crisis or a disaster deployment before, during and after an event.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of principles of self-care to the development of a printable personal resiliency plan.


It will take approximately 45 minutes to complete this online training. Upon successful completion of this course learners will have the opportunity to create their own personal resiliency plans. After passing a post-test, learners will be able to print a certificate of completion granting 0.75 continuing education contact hours (0.075 CEUs).