El Paso Health Department
Abstract
Emergency management is increasingly becoming an issue of concern to the local government El Paso Health, particularly the health department. This can be attributed to the fact that the area has recorded increased cases requiring emergency response. Therefore, organizations tasked with the management of emergencies need to consistently improve their operations with the need to improve the safety, security, and recovery levels in accidents and incidences within their jurisdiction. Importantly, the number of health related emergencies have been on the rise. More so, with the threat posed by COVID-19, the health department has become even more alert. Notably, emergency management takes a series of activities directed towards ensuring that the greatest recovery is achieved in an incident by increasing the increasing recovery and significant reduction of fatalities and destruction. The different activities improved in emergency management include mitigation, response, preparedness, and recovery, and all the components need to be improved separately to achieve success for the entire process. Organizations tasked with emergency response need to incorporate technology and innovations in their operations to ensure that they can sufficiently handle new and arising emergencies. This paper explores various aspects of emergency response at the El Paso Health Department.
Introduction
The department of health at El Paso is mainly tasked with emergency management due to different accident cases presented to the facility, and thus there is a great need to consistently improve the emergency management operation and function to achieve the organizational goals and objectives in handling emergency incidences (Coleman et al., 2005). The El Paso County Department of Health is tasked with handling the health issues of people within El Paso County. The department has spearheaded different health programs strategies laying medical policies, procedures, and plans, public health information and communication, promotion of health education, offering medical and social services. Equally important, on emergency management, the facility offers health emergency programs, outreach safety, and crisis and emergency risk communication. Consequently, the fact that the department is tasked with handling emergency management, planning, and research, then there is a great need to analyze and critic the department emergency management, operations, and planning process (Reglen and Scheller, 2016). The analysis of the department will be inclined to establish the different emergency management aspects such as mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery, as well as the incorporation of NIMS principles and Unit of Command in the emergency management practices. The analysis on the department operations will make it possible to retrieve vital information on the advantages and disadvantages of the emergency management processes, anticipation of emergencies emanating from the law enforcement, coordination and cooperation with the local state and federal agencies, emergencies handling plans and the exercises and the changes that need to be adopted in improving the department emergency management planning. The assessment and evaluation are based on the need to achieve and attain the best form of emergency management at the El Paso Health Department. El Paso Health Department is tasked with emergency management within its jurisdiction. Equally important, the stakeholders at the El Paso Health Department include business and employer, members of the community, health care providers and facilities, retirement communities, nursing facilities, schools, nonprofit and faith-based organization, as well as law enforcement and detention facilities. The different stakeholders include sections of the communities that are posed with emergency incidences as well as organization that partner with the department in handling emergency incidences (El Paso, 2020). El Paso health department as an tasked with emergency management have consistently given guidelines, advise, best practices and approaches to be adopted in countering the COVID 19 spread of infections. In this regard, the department has made efforts to research on the diseases, identify trends and develop evidence-based solutions for the local communities. For instance, the department has enhanced campaign for people to stay at home and maintains social distancing to curb the spread of the COVID 19. There is a need to access and evaluate its emergency operations to analyze and critique it by making it possible to improve the operations and achieving the goals and objectives of emergency management.
Methodology section
The main methodology in this case is conducting telephone interviews by interviewing the personnel and stakeholders at the El Paso Health department through telephone calls. The telephone interview enhances the gathering of first-hand information from the different parties. In this regard, the interview begins with the preparations of questionnaires directed towards assessing and evaluating the operations, functions, advantages and disadvantages associated with the department in the course of handling emergency management. Consequently, there is the seeking of approval and authorization to seek the permission to call the different parties from the relevant authorities such as the El Paso County to ensure that the interviews are guided by the different rules and regulations to observe legal, moral and ethical needs. Furthermore, the calls made are recording in both audio and written form for future references and to enhance the analysis and assessment operations. The interviews in this case are conducted to a member of public, head of the health department, and member from the El Paso County, and a health provider.
Discussion
Pros and cons of El Paso Health Department emergency management
Pros
El Paso Health Department has different advantages that contribute to its capability in emergency management as derived from the different interviews. First, the department has access to capital that it uses with a great sense of transparency and accountability to ensure that funds from the governments or donors are perfectly directed towards disaster management operations. The availability of funds provides capital to acquire tools, equipment, and vital resources used in emergency management operations (Owen et al., 2016). For instance, the head of the health department argued that funds from the government and the donors are used to purchase state of the art ambulances that are used to move patients involved in accidents to medical facilities, thus increasing their chances of recovery. On the other hand, the funds are used in the building of a disaster response center to handle emergency cases alone. At this point, persons involved in different emergencies are provided with specialized care to enhance their recovery. At the disaster response center, patients are prioritized and given maximum care to ensure a fast recovery. It is important to note that having a disaster response center ensures that operations are effective and efficient implemented since the center is modeled to handle and care for patients involved in emergencies such as accidents. Therefore, the department has the advantage of access to funds to acquire vital tools and equipment needed in emergency management, and the department, in turn, prepares regular financial statements for transparency and accountability.
The interviews from the different parties indicated that organization and team management at El Paso Health Department ensures that the professionals involved in emergency management are sufficiently prepared to handle the emergencies, thus achieving great success from the different operations. In this regard, the organization hires skilled, knowledgeable, and skilled personnel who are attached to different duties and responsibilities (Sinclair et al., 2012). The professionals and personnel in emergency management are hired based on their educations and experience in different professions. The organization uses specialization and division of labor approaches in the allocation of duties and responsibilities. In specialization, the professionals are allocated to different duties based on their education, capability, and skills. On the other hand, the division of labor takes the separation of emergency management based on mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Cons
The interview indicated that there are inherent disadvantages associated with the El Paso Health Department regarding emergency management operations, making it derail and fail in the operations. The health provider provided information that the department lacks effective anti-disaster programs and policies, and it is only equipped in responding to techniques and tactics as opposed to preventing them. The anti-disaster programs and policies are developed to enhance self-efficacy and preparedness to counter disaster before they happen or to reduce the negative impacts of a disaster (Donahue et al., 2010). The anti-disaster program is implemented through the provision of disaster education and training participation among members of the public or persons that are likely to be affected by disasters such as miners to enhance civilian disaster response. Therefore, the anti-disaster program needs to have a response for the disasters as well as relevant preventive measures.
The head of the Health department at the El Paso Health Department response to the leadership operations and interactions indicated lack of leadership and commanding since there are different centers of power regarding the management of the emergency operation. In this regard, there is conflict in leadership between the head of the department and the head of the emergency management section (Eide et al., 2012). There are no defined separate duties and responsibilities for the two heads, thus resulting in confusion. In this regard, the organizational policy needs to have separate duties and responsibilities to achieve effectiveness and efficiency in the organizational operations.
Coordination between El Paso Health Department state and federal agencies
The success of the emergency management operations is highly dependent on the cooperation between the department and the state and federal agencies tasked with emergency operations and activities. The department and state and federal agencies have similar goals in emergency management, and thus they should reinforce their operations to achieve the joint goals and objectives (El Paso County, 2020). The operation between the department and the state and federal agencies indicated by the close association and operation with organizations such as the Center for Disease Control and prevents (CDC), the El Paso County Office of Emergency Management, U.S. Health and Human Service Information and Colorado Governor Office of Homeland Security. The different agencies are tasked with improving human life and safety, and thus they work hand in hand with El Paso Health Department to achieve emergency management operations.
Plans for handling emergencies between the department and state and federal agencies
The El Paso Health Department and the federal and state agencies have different plans based on handling different emergencies. For instance, there is Pandemic Flu Planning for individuals and families to enhance the preparation for the influenza pandemic outbreak (El Paso County, 2020). The plans provide a checklist guiding families on the actions to take to reduce the impact of the pandemic on individuals and their families. Additionally, the close relation with the CDC ensures that the department is regularly advised the response to direct to different emergencies, thus reducing their negative impacts. The close associations between the department and the state and federal agencies have made it to earn a National Recognition for Emergency Preparedness Planning and readiness.
The different plans and associations between the department and different agencies have been implemented, recording success in the emergency management operation and functions. For instance, Pandemic Flu Planning has presented a checklist that guides persons and families on actions to take to reduce the spread of germs and prevention of the infection. This approach has made it possible for the people together with the relevant organizations to contain the pandemic. Similarly, pandemics and emergencies are jointly approached through programs with sufficient information and actions to ensure that the negative effects of the emergencies are significantly reduced.

Steps to improve emergency management planning and responses
There is a great need to ensure emergency management operations and functions need to be consistently improved to enhance the achievement of emergency management goals and objectives. First, the emergency management can be improved with the department identifying the potential threats and risks that have the likelihood of happening within their jurisdiction to enhance the development of effective countermeasures (Canos et al., 2013). The identification of threats takes the identification of specific threats such as earthquakes, floods, wildfires, or hurricanes, the time they are likely to occur, and their impact on different parties and sections of the society such as businesses. This information ensures that the department can develop effec5ive countermeasures that enhancing the preparedness plans.
The department needs to further improve emergency management operations through the documentation of disaster recovery communication plan. Planning and having the skills and knowledge to handle the disaster and emergencies before they occur ensures that minimize the negative impacts and reduce the response time (Doyle, Paton and Johnston, 2015). Communication is vital as it enhances the coordination and interaction of parties involved in handling the emergency. The communication plan needs to have a system for employee communication, identification of audience to enhance effective and proactive communication, and a definition of roles of every employee in the disaster management. Therefore, having a proper communication plan ensures that the implementation of function within emergency management is implemented efficiently.

Conclusion
Emergency management operations are a vital aspect of every organization to ensure that the negative impacts of emergencies are effectively reduced. These operations need to be consistent to handle current and future emergencies. There is a need to audit or assessment and evaluation of operations and policies within the emergency management to detect their infectiveness and thus improve them through the adoption of effective approaches and best practices. Equally important, emergency management plans and operations need to be consistently improved to meet the disaster response objectives. Consequently, the results from the interviews with different parties presented the advantages and disadvantages of the El Paso health department in handling the emergency management operations. On the advantages it was clear that the department had a high access to finances to fund different activities and the purchase of the relevant tools and equipment and this was backed up with accountability and transparency. This approach ensures that funds released for the different operations meet their purpose without wastage. Consequently, the department ensures that the hired personnel have the capacity to handle the different emergency response operations due to their experience, skills and knowledge. On the other hand, the interview indicated that there are disadvantages associated to the department in emergency management. In this case, there are leadership conflict in giving orders and spearheading operation amounting to barriers and challenges in the implementation of policies and operations. More so, the anti-disaster response policies have an element of in effectiveness as they are based on responding to disasters as opposed to preventing them. Preventing the disasters is much effective as they ensure that there is less suffering and ensure that emergency management operation become easy and effective.
Appendix
Question Samples
1. What are the effectiveness and efficiency in the department emergency management operation?
2. What are the challenges experienced by the health department in emergency management activities?
3. What steps, best practices and approaches that can be used or adopted in the improvement of the emergence management functions?
4. Which is the most successful function of the department emergency management and why?
5. Which are the least successful function the department of the emergency management and why?

References
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Coleman, K. J., Tiller, C. L., Sanchez, J., Heath, E. M., Sy, O., Milliken, G., & Dzewaltowski, D. A. (2005). Prevention of the epidemic increase in child risk of overweight in low-income schools: the El Paso coordinated approach to child health. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 159(3), 217-224.
Donahue, D. A., Cunnion, S. O., Balaban, C. D., & Sochats, K. (2010). Meeting educational challenges in homeland security and emergency management. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 7(1).
Doyle, E. E., Paton, D., & Johnston, D. M. (2015). Enhancing scientific response in a crisis: evidence-based approaches from emergency management in New Zealand. Journal of Applied Volcanology, 4(1), 1.
Eide, A. W., Halvorsrud, R., Haugstveit, I. M., Skjetne, J. H., & Stiso, M. (2012, November). Key challenges in multiagency collaboration during large-scale emergency management. In AmI for crisis management, international joint conference on ambient intelligence, Pisa, Italy.
El Paso County. (2020). About El Paso County Public Health. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/redir/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eelpasocountyhealth%2Eorg&urlhash=vpZ1&trk=about_website
Owen, C., Brooks, B., Bearman, C., & Curnin, S. (2016). Values and complexities in assessing strategic‐level emergency management effectiveness. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 24(3), 181-190.
Reglen, D., & Scheller, D. S. (2016). Fire department turnout times: A contextual analysis. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 13(1), 167-189.
Sinclair, H., Doyle, E. E., Johnston, D. M., & Paton, D. (2012). Assessing emergency management training and exercises. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal.

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