Public Health Services Department

  • Administrative Services Division
  • Emergency Medical Services Division
  • Environmental Health Services Division
  • Health Services Division


The Kern County Public Health Services Department is the local governmental agency charged with the protection and promotion of the public’s health.  Our mission is “To protect and safeguard the health and safety of the community.”

The Kern County Department of Public Health operates public health programs and enforces laws relating to public health, as prescribed in the State Health and Safety Code and the Kern County Ordinance Code. There are three departmental divisions, Emergency Medical Services, Environmental Health Services and Public Health Services.

The community desires, and has a right to, protection from many threats to health, whether naturally occurring or man-made, which are beyond the control of the individual.  Those rights are expressed through specific provisions of the California Health and Safety Code.  It is that concern with the common good that sets public health apart from other traditional curative health care services which are usually directed toward the individual’s health.

The Department promotes healthy behaviors and disease prevention through media relations, marketing, and community health education.  And, includes programs on unintentional injuries, tobacco use, promoting immunizations, physical activity and healthy eating habits, communicable disease prevention and intervention programs and a variety of pre and post-natal programs.

Measures of the effectiveness of public health services include indicators of community health status, i.e. vital statistics compiled from reports of births, deaths, morbidity, and mortality.

Emergency Medical Services

 The Emergency Medical Services Department (EMS) is the lead agency for the emergency medical services system in Kern County and is responsible for coordinating all system participants in the County. Participants include the public, fire departments, ambulance companies, other emergency service providers, hospitals, and EMT training programs throughout the County. The department also provides certification and re-certification for EMT’s, paramedics, specialized nurses (MICN), and specialized dispatchers (EMD).

Environmental Health Services

The Environmental Health Services Division operates inspection programs and enforces laws relating to sanitation of the environment.  Activities of the department include inspection and permitting in the areas of food and dairy, housing, water and water-oriented recreation, hazardous and toxic materials and waste, underground storage tanks, land use, liquid waste, noise control, solid waste, and vector control.

Public Health Services

The Public Health Services Division operates public health programs and enforces laws relating to public health.  Programs include vital statistics, health education, communicable disease control, nutrition and family planning advisory services, and medical and nursing services to promote maternal and child health.  Within the general program areas, the department administers the federal Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program, AIDS Consortium Grants and AIDS Housing and Drug Procurement Programs, the State Child Health and Disability Prevention Program, and the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Care Program.  The department also administers the California Children Services Program, which carries out the State mandated program intended to locate and provide necessary specialized medical care and allied services to children with disabling conditions.