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OFRD History


Readiness Essentials



The CCRF was created by the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) in 1994 to improve the DHHS ability to respond to public health emergencies.

Operational management for the CCRF was transferred to the Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) in October 1997, at which time a CCRF Workgroup was established to develop a mission statement and operations plan.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the anthrax attacks, OEP became the Office of Emergency Response (OER) and was transferred to the fledgling Department of Homeland Security.  CCRF was concurrently transferred back to OSG in March 2003.

CCRF was subsequently subsumed under the new Office of Force Readiness and Deployment (OFRD) in 2004. 


Requests for assistance may be in response to any of the following:

  Corps deployment is defined as a directed, temporary assignment of officers from their assigned duties within HHS OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs and non-HHS organizations, as applicable, authorized by the President or Secretary in response during a time of war or in response to:

a)       A national emergency as declared by the President;

b)       A public health emergency as declared by the President or Secretary;

c)       An urgent public health need:

1)       A critical staffing shortage of health care/public health personnel within a facility or program administered by an OPDIV/STAFFDIV or non-HHS organization that threatens the health and safety of the affected population;

2)       A crisis response is a situation presenting a significant threat to the public health of a State, Tribe, or local community, and available resources are inadequate to respond; or

d)       A National Special Security Event declared by the Secretary of Homeland Security, is of national significance, requires special security, and is coordinated at the national response level.

Once the mission requirements are determined, OFRD will match the requirement against the qualifications of response teams and/or members on that month's rotational ready roster.

Activation Process in Summary

Request for Assistance
OFRD staff receive request
Evaluation of need - appropriate utilization of commissioned officers?
Request for Activation
OFRD staff submits formal request for activation to the Surgeon General
The Secretary's and/or designee are briefed regarding the situation
If the Secretary's and/or designee concurs; ready rosters are activated
Identification of Assets
Needs of the mission are matched with the skills and qualifications of officers on the rotational ready roster
Individual officers are identified
Agencies are informed officers from the roster are needed
Officers are contacted
Supervisory release is obtained
If necessary, travel orders and arrangements prepared
Teams/Officer(s) are deployed


READINESS Essentials

Login Access

If you are on active duty in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps you have already been granted a userid and login password to the OFRD System.  Your userid is your PHS Serial Number and your password can be retrieved by clicking the "Send Password" button on the login page.  You will need to login and update your officer summary information to begin your first step towards deployability with OFRD.  

Each officer is required to login to the OFRD database and update/verify their personal information on a quarterly basis.  It is the responsibility of each officer to make certain that OFRD has accurate and current information about that officer.

Each officer is REQUIRED to insure that OFRD staff are able to contact them 24 hours a day,  7 days a week.

OFRD is in the process of reengineering its database and website.  Revisions will include expanded skills and training data, awards data, more detailed deployment information, and integration with the Commissioned Corps personnel database.

Additionally, you must join the OFRD Listserv.   This email listserver provides the primary mechanism that OFRD communicates with its members. 

Join the OFRD Listserv.
Login to the OFRD database.

Readiness Requirements


Training is based upon the capabilities found to fulfill the mission and anticipated response requirements of the OFRD, (e.g., the knowledge, skills, and preparedness of response teams). The purpose of the training is to ensure that the qualifications of the OFRD response members selected for deployment are appropriate to the task at hand. Sets of knowledge, skills, and preparatory experiences are required for OFRD officers in all deployment roles; these are related to core public health principles, health emergencies and federal response, and deployment to field conditions.

More information on OFRD Training

Physical Fitness Requirements

OFRD officers will be required to pass the Annual Physical Fitness Test or complete the Active Lifestyle or Champions programs of the President's Council on Physical Fitness (President's Challenge website).   Additionally, all officers need to have physical on file with the Medical Affairs Branch every five years.

Disaster settings often require physical activity by deploying officers, to include working 12 + hour days (sometimes standing all day), lifting, unloading, and carrying equipment and supplies, walking significant distances, climbing stairs, and erecting tentage. Some officers, although very capable clinicians, become liabilities rather than assets when required to exert themselves physically.

The OFRD Physical Fitness Evaluation will determine an officers cardiovascular and muscular fitness and endurance.  These will be measured through a combination of exercises and events including: a 1 1/2 mile run/walk or 500-yard/450-meter swim for cardiovascular endurance, side-bridge/crunch for core muscle endurance and push-ups for upper body muscular endurance.

Description of OFRD Physical Fitness Evaluation
PHS Height/Weight Standards


Officers are required to obtain the following immunizations and/or boosters: Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR), Varicella, Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td), Influenza (annually), and complete the Hepatitis A and B series. Officers are also to be screened having Two negative tuberculin skin test (TST) results no greater than 12 months apart or a single negative interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) test. Submit proof of immunizations to OCCSS/MAB. See MC- 377, PPM 06-007 for details.

YOU may fax immunization information to MAB: 301-594-3299

Officers MUST also record their immunizations information online using the OFRD website http://ccrf.hhs.gov/ccrf

OFRD immunization matrix: http://ccrf.hhs.gov/ccrf/immun_guide.htm

Health care workers (HCWs) are at risk for exposure to and possible transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases because of their direct contact with the public and patients or infective material from patients. Maintenance of immunity is an essential part of prevention and infection control programs for HCWs. Optimal use of immunizing agents safeguards the health of workers and protects the public from becoming infected through exposure by infected workers. Consistent immunization programs substantially reduce both the number of susceptible HCWs and the attendant risks for transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases to other workers and the public.

Persons who deploy during emergencies are placed at additional risk, as they may operate in areas where hygienic conditions, sanitation or infrastructure are compromised. For example, some outbreaks of Hepatitis A are associated with sewage-contaminated water or inadequately treated water; conditions that are frequently encountered during disasters.

Health care workers are considered to be at risk for acquiring or transmitting hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella. All of these diseases are vaccine-preventable. The ACIP recommends immunization of HCWs for these diseases.

Clinical Service Hours

In order to meet BASIC readiness standards and be placed on a Ready Roster, OFRD officers must be current in their professional role. Officers who wish to deploy in a clinical role must practice a minimum of 80 hours per year in that role.


Mental Health
Nurse Practitioner
Medical Technologist
Physician Assistant

More information on the current policy PPM 07-001 extension of manual circular 377. Please see section 1f. for more information.


All officers are required to have received current training in Basic Life Support (BLS) at the level of healthcare provider.

Basic Life Support training is not simply Adult Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).   It must include Adult, Pediatric, and Infant CPR and Foreign Body Airway Obstruction (FBAO) as well as training in the use of an Automatic Electric Defibrillator (AED).  

The only approved courses for satisfying this requirement are:

American Heart Association (AHA) BLS for Healthcare Providers
American Red Cross (ARC) CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer
First Responder
Additional information on BLS Training



At the conclusion of each response, officers who participated will be requested to provide an online "Mission Evaluation Form" , that serves as an after action report (AAR) describing their experience (good and bad).  Additionally, OFRD staff will prepare a comprehensive report of the response describing the background of the situation, the mission tasking, any personnel issues, and identifying any areas that require action for continued program improvement.

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This page was last modified: 05/25/2011 09:00 AM