april 2012

Updates

New Graduate-Level Advanced Certificate in Cyber Security Policy at Long Island University, HSMI

A new, fully online graduate-level advanced certificate program from Long Island University's Homeland Security Management Institute (HSMI) will prepare managers, executives, and homeland security and defense professionals to protect their organizations from cyber attacks.

Reports

Handbook for EMS Medical Directors

The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA), has released a handbook for physician medical directors of local departments and agencies who are involved in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response. The Handbook for EMS Medical Directors covers topics ranging from occupational health and safety to liability issues.

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Reports

Global Engagement Report

Through effective global engagement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with its many international partners to weave a global safety net that improves public health in the United States and around the world.

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Updates

Initial Testing for Wisconsin County's New Land Mobile Radio System Completed Ahead of Schedule

The Raytheon Company has completed, ahead of schedule, an important milestone in building the first interoperable communications system for Rock County, Wisconsin. The system being installed is part of Raytheon's Rapid Alliance solution - a modern, integrated, wireless voice and data communications system superior to any stand-alone network that any municipality could develop independently.

Updates

Governor O'Malley Announces Kenneth J. Mallette as Executive Director, Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

"Our most solemn obligation as public servants is to ensure the safety of our people," said Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. "I am pleased that Ken has chosen to step up and serve as we work to build a safer, more resilient Maryland. He brings with him a wealth of experience and vital crisis management skills that will make certain our citizens are better prepared when a disaster strikes."

Reports

Funding Alternatives for Emergency Medical & Fire Services

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), supported by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Health Affairs (OHA), and in partnership with the International Fire Services Training Association (IFSTA), has announced the revision and release of Funding Alternatives for Emergency Medical and Fire Services. This edition provides the most up-to-date information related to the funding available for local-level Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and fire departments. The document covers not only sources of federal funding but also other new and innovative funding sources not discussed in previous editions.

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Preparedness

Protecting First Responders from Biological Agents

by Christina Spoons -

Bio-weapons are the new "hidden dangers" available to terrorist groups seeking to kill and create widespread havoc. They are low in cost, quickly available, difficult to detect, and - if properly designed - extremely lethal. Moreover, first responders are often the most likely victims - but can save themselves, and other potential victims, by wearing proper protective clothing, following the rules already prescribed, and using an uncommon amount of common sense.

Commentary

Charting New Waters in Biosecurity

by Catherine Feinman -

Many businessmen, and homeowners, would quickly buy and read a comprehensive report on how to prevent burglaries. Many burglars would buy and read the same book, but for different reasons. Those who carry out important scientific research face a similar dilemma: They want to help educate their peers, but do not want their findings to become available to those - terrorists, for example - who would use the information in ways that would harm others.

Updates

FDA Strengthens Monitoring of Post-Approval Drug Safety

A strengthened and modernized postmarket drug safety program has resulted in a substantial improvement in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) oversight of drugs once they reach the American public, according to a new report released today by the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). The report, "Advances in FDA's Safety Program for Marketed Drugs," describes new scientific tools and enhanced capabilities that give the same priority to postmarket drug safety monitoring as to premarket drug review.

Updates

Morpho Detection Receives TSA Delivery Order for Explosives Detection Systems

Morpho Detection, Inc. (MDI), the explosives and narcotics detection business of Morpho, Safran group's security unit, recently announced it has received a delivery order from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for 32 CTX 9800 DSi explosives detection systems (EDS). The CTX 9800 is TSA-certified and uses computed tomography (CT) imaging technology to enhance operational efficiencies by screening bags faster and with fewer false alarms.

Updates

CBP Testing New Way to Decrease Border Wait Times

In an ongoing effort to reduce wait times at the International Bridge, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations will pilot a project to bring vehicles to the inspection booths in less time.

Updates

FDA Prevents Food Contamination by Developing Risk Assessment

In using risk assessments, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) figure out where the risks of contamination are, in the many steps it takes to get different kinds of foods from the farm to the table. Then we use scientific evidence and calculations to predict what the best ways are of preventing contamination by specific substances in specific foods.

Resilience

Protecting the U.S. Agriculture and Food Sector

by R. Douglas Meckes -

The well-known military axiom that an army "travels on its stomach" applies equally to a nation - more so now than ever before, primarily because of the massive increase in the international trade of food and agricultural products that has taken place in recent years. For this reason, the accidental and/or intentional poisoning of food is now a major U.S. national priority that will undoubtedly grow in importance for many years to come.

Commentary

'The Bomber Will Always Get Through' - 80 Years Later, A Prophecy

by Loren B. Thompson -

Not quite 80 years ago, Britain's de facto prime minister made some shocking comments about military policy before Parliament, and his countrymen. Since then, many "inexpensive" attacks have required "expensive" military defense. Today, the dangers facing the entire world are even greater and the cost, to all nations, of not facing the facts could be truly cataclysmic for many decades to come.

Resilience

Enterprising Solutions: Buying/Building New State & Local Preparedness Capabilities

by Dennis R. Schrader & John F. Morton -

For more than a century, the United States has followed a "forward defense" strategy - in other words, fighting the nation's battles overseas rather than in the United States itself. The 9/11 terrorist attacks led to the realization that homeland security must now begin at home. The federal government has acted accordingly, but individual states and cities still have a long way to go. Here are a few helpful suggestions to follow.

Updates

EPA Proposes Rule to Require Electronic Reporting for Chemical Information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a proposed rule to require electronic reporting for certain information submitted to the agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The action is an important milestone in the agency's effort to increase transparency and public access to chemical information in order to help Americans protect their health and environment.

Updates

RAE Systems Enables Remote Access to Real-Time Gas, Radiation, Biometric Data

RAE Systems recently announced its ProRAE Guardian real-time wireless safety system for emergency responder, military, and national security customers. The ProRAE delivers time-critical data on toxic and flammable gases, chemical warfare agents (CWAs), radiation, and responders' physical condition and location, all of which enhances the responders safety and reduces incident response time.

Updates

IFTs New Database Will Make It Easier to Combat Food Fraud

A new study recently featured in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), analyzes products that could be targets for both the economically motivated adulteration of food and food ingredient fraud. According to the study, the database of food fraud presented in this research offers a starting point to better understand the scope, scale, and threat posed by food fraud issues.

Updates

TSA Announces Testing of Document Verification Technologies

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun testing its new technology known as Credential Authentication Technology - Boarding Pass Scanning Systems (CAT-BPSS), which will scan a passenger's boarding pass and photo identification (ID), and then automatically verify that the names provided on both documents match and authenticate the boarding pass. The technology also identifies altered or fraudulent photo IDs by analyzing and comparing security features embedded in the IDs.

Updates

MorphoTrak to Supply Colorado With a New State-Wide Morpho Biometric Identification System (BIS)

MorphoBIS is Morpho's next generation biometric identification system and the fusion of the leading Morpho and Printrak biometric identification technologies. The system's efficient processing of electronic biometric records will help the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) shift toward a fully paperless background check operation.

Updates

W.L. Gore & Associates Launch New Website for Technical Protective Fabrics Division

The new site features multimedia demonstrations to illustrate the science behind Gore's fabric technology. There is also an improved customer support section, detailing how to buy, care for, and repair Gore fabrics. The Fabric Solutions section of the site includes a full description of all available products and fabrics technologies geared toward the protection of military, law enforcement, fire, and safety personnel.

Resilience

Foodborne Outbreaks in Minnesota: Training and Performance

by Kimberley Wetherille & Evan Henke -

There are almost 50 million foodborne illnesses "of various types" in the United States, and over 3,000 deaths annually. Those are the grim statistics that persuaded the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the FDA, and NACCHO to expand and upgrade programs already in place to detect, control, and prevent the spread of foodborne diseases in cities and states throughout the country.

Healthcare

An Exercise in Utility: The Role of Public Health

by Raphael M. Barishansky & Audrey Mazurek -

The federal funding streams that improved U.S. preparedness capabilities, at all levels of government, so significantly in the first decade after the 9/11 attacks have already declined, and additional reductions are just over the horizon. But a lack of funds can be overcome, at least in part, by careful planning, increased cooperation, improved training, and a more imaginative and continuing all-hands effort by all of the professional preparedness communities directly involved.

Healthcare

Food Fight - Bioterrorism & Emergency Response Capabilities

by Joseph Cahill -

Infected salad bars and the "improved" technological capabilities of modern-day terrorist groups have combined to make U.S. responders, and the American people, much more cautious about what they eat. Fortunately, that heightened awareness has led to a much closer scrutiny of restaurants, super markets, food-processing plants, and the super-rich diet creations to come.

Updates

DeltaTRAK FlashCheck Real-Time Bacterial Enzyme Detection Kit Selected as Finalist for 2012 New Product Award

DeltaTRAK, a leading innovator of cold chain management solutions, has announced that its FlashCheck Real-Time Bacterial Enzyme Detection Kit has been selected as a finalist for consideration in United Freshs 2012 New Product Award program.

Updates

New Health Care Law Provisions Cut Red Tape, Save up to $4.6 Billion

"The new health care law is cutting red tape, making our health care system more efficient and saving money," Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "These important simplifications will mean doctors can spend less time filling out forms and more time seeing patients."

Commentary

Laboratories and First Responders: Collaborating for Effective Response

by Maureen Sullivan -

Each day, events occur that engage personnel from multiple disciplines who are each tasked with the common goal of protecting the nation from all hazards threats. Even though laboratorians, police officers, firefighters, and hazmat technicians wear different uniforms, they all share the common goal of protecting the public and thus have similar concerns. Listen to APHL's discussion on the collaborating efforts between first responders and laboratorians.

Updates

NIH Awards $20M Over Five Years to Train Next Generation of Global Health Researchers

To help foster the next generation of global health scientists, Fogarty International Center and its partners at the National Institutes of Health are building a network of U.S. academic institutions to provide early-career physicians, veterinarians, dentists, and scientists with a significant mentored research experience in a developing country.

Healthcare

Dual-Use Disasters: Lessons for Preparedness Professionals

by Earl Stoddard -

Actions have consequences - not all of which are intended, or desired. Some military actions, for example, are intended to intimidate another nation - but instead lead to an outright war. The same is true in the fields of medicine and biological research that, while expanding the range of knowledge about a lethal and previously unknown disease, might also open the door to a new pandemic.

Commentary

Hi-Tech Food Banks & the Safety of Food Supply Chains

by Scott McCallum -

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, more than one-third of adults across the United States are part of the "obesity epidemic." The most important "nutritional" problem facing American consumers, though, might not be calories but contamination. This is particularly true of the billions of pounds of food generously distributed each year through and by the nation's food banks and various charitable organizations.

Updates

Draeger Introduces New Gas Detection App

The new Gas Detection App provides safety professionals with convenient and immediate access to current information on all Draeger portable gas detection products within a lightweight, portable device. Providing the latest up-to-date product information on all Draeger-Tubes, CMS chips and sensors for industrial applications, it is easily accessible and replaces bulky printed handbooks and catalogs.

Healthcare

Aligning Priorities with Healthcare Coalitions

by Andrew R. Roszak -

Growth in the number and capabilities of the nation's healthcare coalitions will undoubtedly continue for the foreseeable future - as will the operational capabilities of those coalitions. Helping that growth, and making the coalitions both more capable and more cost-effective, is a new plan (going into effect this summer) to enhance uniformity if and when needed, while maintaining the diversity required to meet regional concerns and circumstances.

Reports

New FDA Guidance on Considerations Used in Device Approval, De Novo Decisions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed this guidance document to provide greater clarity for FDA reviewers and industry regarding the principal factors FDA considers when making benefit-risk determinations during the premarket review process for certain medical devices. This document describes the FDA's current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited.

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Updates

Successful DHS Field Test of Wide-Area Airborne Surveillance System Assists CBP in Arizona

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently concluded a successful field test in Arizona of a wide area airborne surveillance system (WAASS) using, for the first time, a tethered aerostat platform. The WAASS sensor - consisting of a wide area imager called "Kestrel" and a spotter camera for close-up images - was tested by the DHS Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), and was created in partnership with DHS's U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) agency to assess the operational value of WAASS technology in strengthening U.S. border security.