DVIDS – News – Public Health Center Offers Drinking Water Course for Far East Region


The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) conducted a drinking water course for Navy and Marine Corps representatives from the Far East Region at Readiness Command and Navy Medicine Training Center (NMRTC) Okinawa April 18-21.

The Navy Medicine course is offered annually and focuses on Department of Defense (DoD) policy, basic water science, treatment, sampling, understanding Legionella, lead issues , public notices, introduction to risk communication and a host of other water-related topics. The workshop also includes group exercises that put everyday learning into practice using real-life scenarios.

Mr. Anthony Carotenuto, NMCPHC Preventative Medicine, Environmental Health Programs, is a founding staff member of the Water Quality Monitoring Council (WQOC). The WQOC was created as a result of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) mandate that drinking water overseas meet or exceed United States standards. According to Carotenuto, the facility’s potable water is one of the most essential operational commodities produced. “Water is a basic need that many take for granted,” Carotenuto said. “Water touches everyone, every day. This global training program increases and updates knowledge of drinking water safety and the necessary communication between public works, public health and the public is essential to ensure force health protection. Even the slightest gap in the program can be significant to the health and cause of lack of confidence in those we serve. If our fighting forces worry about their families, we have degraded fighting capabilities. We must maintain trust and credibility, go beyond guaranteeing the security of this basic necessity. »

Attendees were made up of active duty military and government civilians with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and education levels. Attendees came from across the region, including Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC), Naval Installations (NAVFAC) of Japan, NMRTC Okinawa, Marine Corps Installations Okinawa, NMRTC Yokosuka, NMRTC Atsugi, NMRTC Sasebo, and Seabee Unit NAVFAC Okinawa.

Carotenuto led the training team which included Mr. Richard Theiss PE, of AH Environmental Consultants. These instructors specialize in providing drinking water advice, consultation, policy and training with decades of combined marine and civilian experience.

Theiss said he was delighted that the size and composition of the class had grown in recent sessions, from just doctors to now key water operators and water program managers from NAVFAC and of Marine Corps Installation Command (MCICOM) in the class.
“The more we integrate the entire facility water crew into these courses, the more cooperation and communication will occur in the real world, which will improve the production of potable water for our military personnel,” said Theiss. . “This course did a great job of teaching those skills and developing them by practicing in many different scenarios that any of us would encounter.

“Keeping the trust of those who serve is one of the Navy’s core values,” Carotenuto said. “People want to know that their water is safe. We know that providing basic training and keeping those involved in safe drinking water up to date on the science of water is not good training, but is vital to the Navy’s health, reputation and saves health care dollars in the long run.”

Department of the Navy (DON) personnel want to know that leaders care about the supply of clean water and do not take it lightly. Their families’ water supply is not a problem they should worry about. This training is just one way to ensure that drinking water always remains safe, no matter where it is in the world.

The training was well received by attendees, including Mr. Daniel O’Connell, Backflow Prevention Program Manager, NAVFAC Far East Public Works (PW5). “It’s been extremely helpful to learn all the terms I hear in health surveys,” O’Connell said. “Plus, the band was just awesome.”

“I was familiar with many of the concepts taught throughout the course,” said Lt. William Gordon, environmental health officer and medical planner in the III MEF Surgeon’s Office. “However, many regulatory policies and guidelines changed after three consecutive operational duty stations. This course was a great way to get back into the drinking water PMA game.”

Builder 1st Class Charles Ferguson emphasized during the course the importance of the relationship between public works and medical when it comes to water. He recommended that more Seabees take this course to broaden their horizons and not think only of terrain water, as setup water is very different. “I’m in a weird position here,” Ferguson said. “I have always done vertical and horizontal construction for 18 years. Then when I come to Okinawa, I’m on the plumbing side. Maybe that’s why I’m always amazed by the world of water.

Hospital Corpsman Seaman Skye Watters, said during the course that as a new Preventative Medicine Technician (PMT), she is happy to learn these skills and through the group role-play exercises and real-world scenarios at the start of her career.

Ms. Kristen Bass, CNIC, head of the Water program, summarized the situation well. “Our goal is to build a network of drinking water experts who can ensure daily that the production and distribution of drinking water from source to tap is expertly performed and monitored,” Bass said. “To give our customers confidence that the drinking water they use is safe for them and their families, no matter where they may be stationed in the world. This will help build and maintain trust and credibility, to resolve conflicts and ensure the long-term success of our Navy organizational goals.

This course is offered by the NMCPHC four times a year in various locations around the world. For more information, contact the NMCPHC at [email protected]mail.mil

More information and products, services and downloads are available on the NMCPHC webpage: https://www.med.navy.mil/Navy-Marine-Corps-Public-Health-Center/Preventive-Medicine/Program- and-Policy-Support /Water-Sanitation-and-Safety/

The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) develops and shapes public health for the United States Navy and Marine Corps through health surveillance, epidemiology, and analysis, disease and injury prevention and public health consultation. For more information, visit www.nmcphc.med.navy.mil. Follow NMCPHC on social media at https://www.facebook.com/NavyAndMarineCorpsPublicHealthCenter http://twitter.com/nmcphc and https://www.instagram.com/nmcphc/

Date taken: 16.05.2022
Date posted: 16.05.2022 10:07
Story ID: 420799
Location: PORTSMOUTH, Virginia, USA

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