Monthly Archives: January 2018

DHEC’s Jamie Blair Graduates From FEMA Executive Academy

JamieBlair-FEMA

Jamie received his certificate from Katie Fox, Acting Deputy Administrator, Protection and National Preparedness, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the graduation ceremony Dec. 7, 2017.

DHEC‘s Jamie Blair graduated from the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s National Emergency Management Executive Academy at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD, after he completed the full curriculum that supports the advancement of the emergency management profession at strategic policy and executive leadership levels.

Collaboration and training

Jamie completed the four resident courses in the Executive Academy to include: E0680 Systems Thinking and Research Methods for Executives; E0682 Executive Emergency Management Leader Core Competencies I; E0684 Executive Emergency Management Leader Core Competencies II; E0686 Executive Emergency Management Leader Core Competencies III; and a collaborative capstone project. The Executive Academy instills emergency management leaders with a deeper understanding of contemporary and emerging emergency management issues, debates, and public policy.  It provides insights, theories, tools and resources that enable decision-makers to think and act more strategically and to build capacity to protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all types of disasters.

The Executive Academy provides the opportunity to work collaboratively, share smart practices, and participate in exercises with other senior leaders facing similar challenges.  FEMA’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy is for senior executives at the pinnacle of their careers. It’s the final phase of FEMA’s Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP).

Three separate training programs

The EMPP curriculum is designed to provide a lifetime of learning for emergency managers and includes three separate, but closely related, training programs. Those training programs include the National Emergency Management Basic Academy, a specialized and technical training program to develop specific skill sets; the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy, a program to develop the next generation of emergency management leaders who are trained in advanced concepts and issues, advanced leadership and management,  critical thinking, and problem solving; and, the National Emergency Management Executive Academy, a program designed to challenge and enhance the talents of emergency management senior executives through critical thinking, visionary strategic planning, negotiation, and conflict resolution applied to complex real-world problems.

For more information on FEMA’s training classes through the Basic, Advanced, and Executive Academies, or other emergency management courses, go to training.fema.gov/empp.

DHEC in the News: Flu, DHEC grant aids Bamberg County, sewage

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

MUSC extends visitor restrictions as flu cases continue mounting

Visitor restrictions have been extended at Medical University Hospital through Jan. 29 as the flu continues to ravage the Lowcountry.

Visitors may only visit inpatients and patients in the emergency department and will be restricted to a patient’s immediate family members only, including partners, significant others, spouses, parents, children and caregivers.

DHEC grant funds waste tire recycling upgrades in county

BAMBERG — Bamberg County is utilizing a South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control grant in the amount of $254,250 to improvement its waste tire recycling.

SCDHEC announced the grant in May.

As a result, the county has been able to purchase a new roll-off truck and six 30-yard containers in addition to making Convenience and Recycling site improvements, such as privacy fencing and new carport covers.

General Interest

700,000+ gallons of sewage spilled in Columbia in ’17 — but that’s a big improvement

Nasty, poorly treated sewage remains a threat to Columbia rivers, but city officials and a riverkeeper group are encouraged by data showing the volume of spills was down last year.

For the first time in five years of compiling sewage spill data, the Congaree Riverkeeper says spills dropped below 1 million gallons in 2017. The group reports that utilities, led by the city of Columbia, released 758,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.

DHEC in the News: Flu, park wins national environmental award, pollution at Air Force base

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

SC flu deaths more than double in the new year

South Carolina health officials say 15 people have died of the flu so far this season, more than double the number of deaths at this time last year.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Friday the 15 deaths occurred through Jan. 6.

Upstate businesses combating flu season

As flu season continues to attack the Upstate, workplaces in Spartanburg County are working on ways to keep employees healthy and productivity high.

Sky Foster, BMW Manufacturing Co. Spartanburg’s department manager of corporate communications, said the company plans for flu and cold season months in advance in an effort to keep as many employees as healthy as possible.

Lake Conestee Nature Park wins national environmental award

Lake Conestee Nature Park has been awarded a 2017 Phoenix Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for excellence in brownfield redevelopment.

The award was created in 1997 to honor individuals and groups who are working to solve the critical environmental challenge of transforming blighted and contaminated areas into productive new uses, according to a press release.

Former Donaldson Air Force Base remains polluted with toxic garbage, report says

A new report from ProPublica, an independent nonprofit newsroom based in New York, shows that the former Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville is one of six military bases statewide that pose a serious threat to the environment and human health.

The report, which draws data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Defense’s Environmental Restoration Program, lists 61 current or former military installations in South Carolina that have been contaminated with toxins.

Here Are Some Actions You Can Take To Help Protect You Against The Flu

No doubt, you’ve heard the reports of widespread flu activity. It’s important to know that there are some things you can do to help protect yourself.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking three actions:

1) Get a flu vaccine.

DHEC and the CDC recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine, which can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu. Getting vaccinated annually is the No. 1 way to combat this contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization — and even death.

It is especially important for high-risk persons to be vaccinated to reduce the risk of severe illness. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.

2) Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick, limit contact with others.
  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs such as the flu.

3) Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. These drugs are different from antibiotics; they are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.

Visit CDC’s website to find out more about the flu and the three actions it recommends to fight it.

From Other Blogs: Impacts of smoking on women, opioid crisis, cervical cancer screening & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Impacts of smoking on women

There is abundant research about the many harms of smoking – whether it’s the dangerous chemicals, the addictive properties or the damage smoking causes to the body. The effects of smoking can have a profound impact on your health and those around you.

Here are some facts about smoking and its impact on women’s health.

— From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Opioid Crisis Affects All Americans, Rural and Urban

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. That’s three people every hour.

As if the death rate wasn’t bad enough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, and addiction treatment.

 From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

Get the Facts: 3 Myths about Cervical Cancer Screening

I recently attended a school reunion and was able to catch up with some former classmates. I had not seen many of them for over 10 years. Of all the conversations I had that weekend, one about cervical cancer screening has stuck in my mind. As a friend and I discussed what we do, I mentioned that most of my work in the past few years has focused on cervical cancer prevention and research. She was curious to learn more about the need for screening.

My friend told me that she had not been screened for cervical cancer since the birth of her now 10-year-old daughter. What followed was a conversation where she gave me her reasons for not getting screened. I listened and tried to shed light on the myths she believed that make it okay for her to avoid screening.

— From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) The Topic Is Cancer blog

What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl’s #2017BestNine

As 2017 has come to a close, the What’s Cooking team at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is joining the #2017BestNine fun – a social media trend where users share their favorite or most popular moments of the year – by taking a look back at our top-viewed recipes. From quinoa to quesadillas, we are proud to share our users’ favorite recipes.

 From the USDA blog