april 2011

Updates

Over 100 L-3 VIS-108 Explosives Detection Systems Upgraded to VIS-HR EU Standard 2-Approved Systems

"Airports are facing tough economic challenges, and L-3 offers a best-value solution to protect their investment in the VIS platform," said Thomas M. Ripp, president of L-3 Security & Detection Systems. "Customers can extend the life of their installed base, reduce capital investment, and enhance their security operations through an easy field upgrade from the VIS-108 to the VIS-HR."

Updates

Southern Storms: Overview of Response & Support Efforts by FEMA & The Federal Government 

Since the deadly tornadoes first struck several areas of the country earlier this week, the federal government has been in constant contact with all of the states affected as they responded to and began recovery efforts from these devastating storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) currently has: (a) personnel on the ground in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee; and (b) stockpiles of much needed commodities strategically pre-positioned in the region to support those and other states.

Commentary

Anatomy of a Bioterrorist Attack

by Lou Banks -

Many homeland-security professionals have warned that a bioterrorist attack not only could be more devastating, and longer-lasting, than a nuclear attack, but is also more probable. Moreover, the biowarfare capabilities of international terrorists have increased significantly in recent years. But so have U.S. detection and response capabilities and equipment. In short, the "Great Race" has already started; when, where, and how it will end, though, is still far from certain.

Commentary

Play Ball: Game Time for Emergency Preparedness

by Mitch Saruwatari -

A team is a team is a team. But a championship team is not built overnight - and definitely cannot rest on its laurels. The biggest difference, really, between a championship baseball team and a community's emergency-response team is that the baseball team gets tons more publicity and much higher pay, whereas the responders have to make do with such meager accomplishments as saving lives and, just perhaps, the local infrastructure.

Updates

Memphis Fire Department Prepares for Potential Earthquakes With AmbuBus Kits

The City of Memphis (Tenn.) Fire Department, in cooperation with the Memphis/Shelby County Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), recently purchased an AmbuBus (Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit), from First Line Technology, for mass-casualty transport and care in anticipation of potential disasters - including earthquakes, because the city is located on the New Madrid fault line.

Updates

CBP, Republic of Korea Sign Joint Cooperation Statement

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan D. Bersin and Korea Immigration Service Commissioner Dong Hyeon Seok signed a joint statement to integrate CBP's Global Entry program with Korea's Immigration Smart System program. The joint statement describes a future international trusted-traveler program between the Republic of Korea and the United States, and establishes a mutual set of standards that a participant must meet in order to be considered a low-risk traveler.

Updates

New MSA ALTAIR, ALTAIR 5 & ALTAIR Pro Detector Bulletins Available

MSA ALTAIR, ALTAIR 5, and ALTAIR Pro Detector bulletins have been updated to give them a more modern look. Other changes include informational updates, such as replacing Five Star link references with MSALink, and updated approvals information.

Updates

TSA Announces Key Enhancements to Contact Center Procedure

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced, through a notice in the Federal Register, that individuals who contact the TSA Contact Center (TCC) to report suspicious activity will now receive a tracking number as confirmation of their phone call or email - fulfilling a key requirement of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 and providing improved follow-up tools for both TSA and the reporting individual.

Updates

Morpho Detection Inc. (MDI) Enters Agreement to Acquire Syagen Technology

The acquisition of Syagen strengthens Morpho Detection's (MDI) position as the industry-leading provider of explosives and narcotics trace-detection solutions for the homeland security market. Combining Syagen's world-class technologies with MDI's global commercial and service reach is expected to generate strong growth potential and offer enhanced explosives trace-detection capability, especially against emerging non-conventional explosives threats.

Updates

NPS CHDS Launches New Self-Study Course - Intelligence for Homeland Security: Organizational & Policy Challenges

The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (NPS CHDS) launches its newest self-study course. This course is designed for professionals who want to enhance their understanding of homeland security concepts and require the flexibility of self-paced instruction.

Updates

Phoenix Group Is Now the Exclusive Manufacturer & Seller of the Rampart Suit

The Rampart Suit is a Level B chemical/biological defense, two-piece over-garment system consisting of a coat and trousers designed to be worn as a duty uniform by tactical users, including Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team members and First Responders.

Updates

Avon Secures Global Mask Training Contracts for 50 Series Customers

Aimed at both ground defence forces and their military equipment training units equipped with 50 series masks and SCBA respirator systems, Avon's new training programmes include all aspects of CBRN mask usage ranging from sizing, rapid donning, and doffing through to both maintenance and storage.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces Implementation of National Terrorism Advisory System

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will announce the implementation of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) - a robust terrorism advisory system that provides timely information to the public about credible terrorist threats and replaces the former color-coded alert system.

Resilience

Dispensing a Higher Health Care Role to Pharmacists

by Diana Hopkins -

U.S. doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals are the best in the world - also among the most overworked. Fortunately, a greater share of the workload can be assumed by another highly trained & well educated group of medical professionals, the nation's pharmacists - who also will play a key role in coping with pandemics and other mass-casualty incidents and events.

Updates

University of Missouri Researcher Works With Carbon Fiber to Reinforce Buildings, Protect From Explosion

Sarah Orton, assistant professor of civil engineering in the MU College of Engineering, has focused on using carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), a fabric that can withstand 143,000 pounds of force per square inch and can be used in various applications to strengthen reinforced concrete buildings. CFRP has been used previously to strengthen buildings and make them more earthquake-resistant.

Updates

CDC Supports National Initiative to Improve Patient Safety

"Americans expect and deserve safe health care," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. - who has made patient safety a top CDC priority. "CDC has an established track record of improving the quality of health care delivery. This new initiative will help protect patients and ensure that they live healthier, longer, and more productive lives while reducing healthcare costs."

Updates

Cubic to Equip High-Tech 'Tactical Village'

Cubic Corporation has reached an agreement to provide its advanced urban instrumentation system - including its Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) - for a regional emergency and law enforcement training facility. Cubic will equip the facility with its Advanced System Architecture for Urban Live Training (ASAULT), consisting of cameras, speakers, smoke generators, and high fidelity indoor tracking and computer systems, plus sophisticated exercise control & debriefing application programs.

Reports

New National Standards for State & Local Public Health Preparedness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed 15 capabilities to serve as national public health preparedness standards to assist state and local public health departments in their strategic planning. One of the nation's key preparedness challenges has been determining appropriate state and local public health preparedness priorities. CDC's Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning now provides a guide that state and local jurisdictions can use to better organize their work, plan their priorities, and decide which capabilities they have the resources to build and/or sustain.

View Full Report
Updates

Dr. Nils Daulaire Appointed U.S. Representative on Executive Board of World Health Organization

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced that Dr. Nils Daulaire will represent the United States in the community of nations within the World Health Organization.

Updates

Safe America Previews 'March to 1 Million' on Capitol Hill

The Safe America Foundation hosted a Congressional Briefing to preview the Safe America's 9/11 Drill Down for Safety: March to 1 Million campaign and planned "remembrance" event; attendees included members of Congress, professionals from the U.S. Preparedness sector, and other supporters of the March to 1 Million initiative.

Updates

Johns Hopkins & ElanTech Complete Tabletop Simulation of Next-Generation GIS Public Health Emergency Management Software

ElanTech has announced that it completed a successful tabletop simulation (on 30 March 2011) of its new (IMDSS-H) software tool, which will be used by public health incident response teams confronted with conflicting data and incomplete information when they arrive at the scene of a public health emergency. The simulation was designed and executed by experts from the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), a program partner of the IMDSS-H project, and the Johns Hopkins University's own Applied Physics Lab.

Updates

Comprehensive UGA Study Reveals Patterns in Firefighter Fatalities

While the number of fires is on the decline, firefighter deaths are not - researchers from the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Public Health found that cultural factors in the work environment that promote getting the job done as quickly as possible with whatever resources available lead to an increase in line-of-duty firefighter fatalities.

Updates

ZOLL Propaq MD Monitor/Defibrillator & Propaq M Monitor Approved by Health Canada

The Propaq MD and the Propaq M were developed and designed specifically to meet the tough demands of battlefield medicine, which encompass air transport and evacuation, and the highly mobile ground, sea, and air deployments of medical assets. Both meet an unprecedented number of military and international standards related to durability, environmental operation and storage extremes, radio frequency emissions, and susceptibility to spurious electrical and radio frequency noise.

Preparedness

The Role of Patient Tracking in Public Health Practice

by Craig Vanderwagen -

Part 2 of Dr. Vanderwagen's groundbreaking five-part series on the numerous - and extremely difficult - challenges involved in implementing the U.S. National Health Security Strategy.

Healthcare

A Quick Return on Investments in Food Safety

by Shari Shea -

Question: Does a sausage leave a fingerprint? Answer: Well, yes, sort of - but not one detectable by the naked eye. Read here to find out how CDC, the APHL, PulseNet, and epidemiologists from five mid-Atlantic states worked hand-in-glove (literally) to crack "The Dangerous Case of the Fermented Sausage" in record time.

Reports

A Practical Guide to Narrow-Banding

To assist the nation's public safety community and government officials in meeting the narrowband mandate, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) has released a "best practices & recommendations" guide for overcoming the most common challenges agencies may experience when transitioning to narrowband.

View Full Report
Healthcare

Dollars and Sense: Budgeting for Emergency Services

by Joseph Cahill -

What is both fair and equitable? What is legally permissible? And how much of the total cost should be paid by the community at large? Those are but three of the difficult questions facing firefighters, EMS providers, and public officials as they seek to save lives, provide the public services traditionally expected, and keep costs from spiraling completely out of control.

Updates

Presidential Policy Directive-8 Signed by President Barack Obama

by Catherine Feinman -

This important update focuses on: (a) The use of an "All of Nation" approach; (b) The building of capabilities "to confront any challenge"; and (c) Implementation of "a more rigorous assessment system."

Updates

Delaware County, Ohio, Upgrades to NG9-1-1, Geo-Diverse Sentinel Patriot Solution from Cassidian Communications

"The consolidation of the Delaware City and County 9-1-1 call centers gave us the opportunity to upgrade our existing equipment to a system that can meet the demands of our growing community," said Robert Greenlaw, communications director of DELCOMM. "As our population grows and technologies advance, we need to ensure that, when we receive an emergency call, we have the right tools in place to protect our citizens. Cassidian Communications has provided that to us."

Commentary

FINAL REPORT: Special Event Planning

by Robert (Bob) Stephan -

Compelling information for responders, receivers, planners, and managers. This report focuses on the importance of training and preparing for a large-scale disaster during a special event. Audio links included.

Updates

L-3's OptEX Explosives Trace Detection System Receives U.K. DfT Approval

L-3 Security & Detection Systems has announced that the United Kingdom's Department for Transport (DfT) has approved its OptEX® explosives trace detection (ETD) system for use in U.K. transportation security applications. OptEX® is based on L-3's innovative energetic materials detection (EMD) technology, which uses thermal signatures to detect trace levels of explosives from the surfaces of objects, vehicles, or people in order to indicate a potential explosives threat.

Reports

Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-8: National Preparedness

This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. National preparedness is the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens.

View Full Report
Updates

Procedures Relating to a Federal Funding Hiatus

During a federal funding hiatus, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must be able to cease its government operations in an orderly fashion. Certain functions and activities that will be permitted to continue are "exempt" from work restrictions specified in the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA).

Updates

Saab Empowers the State of Georgia's Trauma Response

Saab in North America has received an order to provide a net centric-based command and control solution to the State of Georgia's Trauma Communications Center. The $845,000 contract to provide an advanced C2 system enabling the real-time tracking of trauma cases and medical care availability was signed with the Georgia Tech Research Institute as the contracting party. The new system is scheduled to be integrated over the next four months.

Updates

BARDA Funds Advanced Development of New Influenza Antiviral

The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has announced that a contract has been awarded to develop a long-acting single-dose antiviral drug for use in the United States.

Commentary

Lessons Learned: Biosecurity and Food Safety

by Sophia Paros -

Parents, nutritionists, and educators have been concerned for many years about school lunch programs and, more recently, childhood obesity. Now they have a new and arguably more important problem to worry about - namely, that the food served up to the tots and teenagers during school hours others might be contaminated, radioactive, and/or otherwise dangerous to their childrens' health.

Healthcare

Public Health: Assessing the Hazards & Vulnerabilities

by Raphael Barishansky & Audrey Mazurek -

The first priority of would-be "problem solvers" should be to find out, in as much detail as possible, exactly what the problem is. That is particularly true, it says here, in dealing with major and extremely complicated problems involving, and quite possibly jeopardizing, the continued good health of thousands of innocent victims of poisoned or contaminated food.

Updates

Thermo Fisher Scientific & Watercraft Manufacturer Brunswick Equip Patrol Boats With Radiation Detection Systems

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has announced a partnership with Brunswick Commercial and Government Products (BCGP) to customize border & harbor patrol watercraft with Thermo Scientific Matrix RadSPEC Series 400 radiation detection systems. The Thermo Scientific RadSPEC system is engineered to quickly and automatically detect radioactive threat material or weapons.

Updates

EMC Acquires NetWitness Corporation

NetWitness Corporation has been acquired by information infrastructure leader EMC Corporation, and will operate as a line of business under RSA, The Security Division of EMC. The NetWitness team will continue to focus, officials said, "on what you already have come to expect from us: delivery and support of the most advanced network security solutions in the industry."

Updates

Cassidian Responds to New Zealand Emergency in Record Time

"We feel honored to have played a part in assisting Tait Radio Communications and the New Zealand Police respond to the crisis in Christchurch," said Chuck Sackley, Vice President and General Manager, Cassidian Communications, Land Mobile Radio. "It is very rewarding to know that our forces were able to come together with the singular goal of helping those in need," he added, "and that the software-based nature of the CORP25 network enabled us to react as quickly as we did to the requests for more capacity."

Updates

FLIR Systems Wins Multimillion Dollar Sub-Contract with Northrop Grumman

As part of this contract, FLIR has developed a new medium-range ground-based radar designed specifically for desert environments, the LSR-5000. The LSR-5000 wide area surveillance radar is based on the same highly reliable technology inherent in all FLIR radars and adapted to meet the rigorous requirements of a desert environment. The system effectively monitors up to 78 square kilometers while maintaining extremely low false-alarm rates.

Updates

HHS Launches New Consumer-Focused Immunization Website www.vaccines.gov

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled an innovative new website, Vaccines.gov, to help parents and other consumers learn about the most effective way to: (a) protect themselves and their children from infectious diseases; and (b) learn important new information about immunizations.

Updates

ManTech Awarded ITSS-4 Contract to Provide Support Services to DOJ

ManTech International Corporation has been awarded a prime contract from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide information technology support services to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and all DOJ offices, boards, divisions and bureaus. Under the Information Technology Support Services (ITSS-4) contract, ManTech will support a wide range of lifecycle IT-related tasks and processes.

Updates

Register Now for Live Webcast of CBP Annual Symposium

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) 11th annual trade symposium will feature panel discussions involving agency personnel, members of the trade community, and other government agencies on the CBP's role in international trade initiatives and programs. On-site attendance is sold out, but there is still opportunity to participate online via the live webcast.

Preparedness

TRANSCAER Rolls Out Nationwide Safety Training Tour

TRANSCAER® has launched a nationwide Anhydrous Ammonia Training Tour, designed to educate and train officials in 27 states across the country on effective emergency responses to anhydrous ammonia incidents.