Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the State of Connecticut Emergency Credentialing Program for Healthcare Professionals (CT-ECP)?
The State of Connecticut Emergency Credentialing Program for Healthcare Professionals is a way to identify and pre-qualify volunteer healthcare providers who are licensed in Connecticut in advance of a large-scale disaster or public health emergency. Volunteers enrolled in the program help to ensure that Connecticut’s citizens have uninterrupted access to vital healthcare services during a disaster or public health emergency - when they are needed the most. The Yale New Haven Center of Excellence for Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response administers the program for the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health.


Q. Why does Connecticut need licensed healthcare professional volunteers?
An effective emergency response plan in Connecticut, the New England region and the nation must be able to quickly identify and contact volunteer healthcare professionals who have the specific skills and competencies needed to care for people who are injured or ill.


Q. Who is eligible to volunteer in the program?
Healthcare professionals including APRNs, behavioral health professionals, cardiovascular technicians, clinical laboratory professionals, dentists, diagnostic imaging professionals, EMTs/paramedics, medical sonographers, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacist technicians, physicians, physician assistants, respiratory therapists and veterinarians are eligible to join the program. To be eligible you must hold a valid Connecticut healthcare professional license, registration or certification, as applicable.


Q. How does the Emergency Credentialing Program work?
Interested healthcare professionals provide personal contact information and a self-assessment of discipline-specific capability. For those who are selected to participate, this information will become part of a central, secure database that can be accessed by participating acute care hospitals during a large-scale disaster or public health emergency. In coordination with the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, volunteers who have the skills and competencies needed for the current emergency will be contacted to see if they are available to assist.


Q. What if I am called and am unable or unwilling to help?
When you are called to volunteer, you can make a decision about your availability at that time. You always retain the right to decline for any reason. Keep in mind that participating in an emergency response can be physically and emotionally draining, can separate you from your family for extended periods of time, provides no monetary compensation and can be dangerous.


Q. What about my family and my job?
Volunteers are required to coordinate their volunteer time with the needs of their family, their employers and any other non-paid obligations relative to an emergency response (e.g., EMS, police, fire, or the Disaster Medical Assistance Team).


Q. What will my role be in a large-scale disaster or public health emergency?
Every attempt will be made to match your skills, competencies and license or registration level with your responsibilities during a large-scale disaster or public health emergency. On occasion, however, you may be asked to assist with activities that are less challenging than your usual professional activities. You should never be requested to or accept responsibility for an activity or assignment that is outside your scope of practice as defined by your license, registration or certification.


Q. Do I have professional liability and workers compensation protection?
Volunteers enrolled in the program are eligible for state sponsored liability and workers compensation coverage within the borders of the state during a governor declared state of emergency or public health emergency and, if officially deployed by the governor to a disaster area outside the state, under the national Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Any of the participating hospital CEOs may declare a large-scale disaster for his or her specific hospital and request assistance from volunteers enrolled in the program. In this scenario, program volunteers are eligible for coverage under the professional liability and workers compensation programs offered by the requesting hospital.


Q. Are there circumstances when I would not be eligible for professional liability and workers compensation protection?
Volunteers enrolled in the program are not eligible for state sponsored professional liability and/or workers compensation when:
• Actions are deemed to be the result of “willful or wanton misconduct” (Substitute Bill 6676, Sec.10, CT General Assembly, January 2003)
• Actions are not part of the official volunteer responsibilities requested at the time of deployment with the Emergency Credentialing Program, by the incident commander or by the incident commander’s designate
• Actions are taken independently from the Emergency Credentialing Program as a “self-deployed” volunteer



Q. What training is available?
Volunteers enrolled in the program are required to complete a brief online training course. Additional courses may be required for some volunteers with specific and more complex disaster response roles. At the time of the disaster, each volunteer will receive appropriate just-in-time training at the requesting facility to prepare them for a safe and effective response. Volunteers are also encouraged to participate in disaster response drills and exercises conducted by hospitals, communities, the Department of Public Health and other organizations around the state that evaluate emergency management plans and protocols.


Q. How do I register?
Volunteers can register by going to: www.ct-esar-vhp.org to provide contact information and to complete the on-line self assessment. If you are employed by a participating hospital or agency that is a program partner, your self assessment information will be forwarded to them for validation and then returned to the Yale New Haven Center of Excellence for Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response for inclusion in the statewide database.


Q. How will I be contacted in an emergency?
When you register, you will be asked for information about the best ways to contact you during an emergency. Please be sure to keep this information current by returning to the program website to update your information!


Q. How will I update my information?
When you register, you will receive a secure and unique volunteer identification number. You will need this number to re-enter the website to get general program information, register for the program’s online training courses or to update your contact information.


Q. Who will have access to this information?
Your information will be contained within a central, secure database administered for the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health by the Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response. Your information will ONLY be used to engage you in activities related to the State of Connecticut Emergency Credentialing Program for Healthcare Professionals, including recruitment for participation in a disaster drill or exercise, to provide you with program information or to request your assistance at the time of a large-scale disaster or public health emergency. Under no circumstances will this information be sold to or otherwise shared with any entity that is not a direct or indirect partner in the program.

















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