Cross-jurisdictional agencies work as partners

Cross-jurisdictional agencies work as partners

MYTEP workshop, June 2014

PHOENIX - During June, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) hosted a Multi-year Training and Exercise Planning workshop. Over 100 people representing local and state public health, emergency management and health systems agencies and groups attended the workshop to sync schedules, build partnerships, and update their multi-year training and exercise plans (MYTEP).



Antonio Hernandez, Partner Integration Chief for the ADHS Bureau of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, says it’s important for agencies to come together for workshops and exercises. “Working together as a whole community is key to emergency preparedness success,” he said. “Coming together as emergency management, public health, tribes, hospitals, clinics, and access and functional needs organizations is a great way to develop relationships, cohesion and strategies to work together prior to a disaster event or emergency.”


The Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) attended the workshop as well.  Dan Varner, ADEM Exercise Coordinator explained the agency’s involvement. “We use Exercise Schedule Worksheets to  gather county information  indicating when they are planning to exercise  and what objectives they want to achieve,” he said.



Varner says the 15 counties’ training and exercise data is integral to ADEM’s success. “The county’s data are building blocks to  ADEM’s Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan,” he said. ADEM’s plan is used to schedule trainings for those involved in exercises.


Denny Foulk, Emergency Management Coordinator for Yavapai County, thinks events that bring multiple groups together help his county be better prepared. “Yavapai County always seeks to coordinate, collaborate, communicate, and integrate as part of our overall approach to emergency management,” he said.  “Part of that is working in concert to coordinate a cooperative approach addressing the training and exercise needs for the entire county, as well as with our state and local partners.”


Teresa Ehnert, ADHS Bureau Chief, was happy with the progress made throughout the day. “All 15 county emergency managers were here.  We learn from others’ experiences,” she said. “But we also learn from each other when we exercise and plan together. Our relationships have helped us get ahead of what could have been catastrophic events.”



John Dirickson, ADEM Assistant Director, stated the desired result of events like this one. “If we don’t work together and participate in exercises and planning, it just doesn’t work when something happens. We will never live in a successful world if we silo ourselves.”