december 2009

Updates

Executive Order - Medical Countermeasures Following a Biological Attack

The White House has ordered the establishment of a federal capability program for the timely provision of medical countermeasures following a biological attack.

Updates

QinetiQ North America, Ahura Scientific Integrate Chemical Sensor with TALON CBRNE/Hazmat Robots

QinetiQ North America, maker of the TALON family of robots, announced that it has formed a development partnership with Ahura Scientific Inc. to integrate Ahura's compact laboratory-grade Raman spectrometer onto TALON CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive)/Hazmat robots for first responders.

Commentary

Protecting Citizens by Predicting Future Threats

by JL Smither -

The threat is imminent, and can become a reality at almost any time. But no one knows about it except those who plan to carry out the threat. Chicago's new District Intelligence Bulletin System (DIBS) is helping to even the odds by the extremely rapid dissemination, to law-enforcement agencies throughout the entire city, of almost real-time crime-scene information and other dangerous and potentially lethal threats, whether manmade or acts of nature.

Resilience

What Gets Measured, Gets Done - The Long and Winding Road of Preparedness Measurement

by Timothy Beres -

How does one measure preparedness, particularly in the field of homeland defense? Slowly, most of the time - and very carefully - is the correct answer. But there are other relevant questions that first must be answered. What is being measured, for example? And who, or what agency, is in charge of the measuring? And how will the measurements taken being used?

Updates

ImageTrend's Resource Bridge & Patient Tracking Systems Aid Emergency Preparedness Throughout the U.S.

ImageTrend's Resource Bridge and Patient Tracking systems, proven emergency preparedness software solutions since 2003, are incorporating the newest technologies to promote cost-effective communications and supply critical information during emergencies.

Updates

Thermo Fisher Scientific Introduces an EPD Designed With Particular Customer Needs in Mind

The Thermo Scientific EPD-G, a cost-effective, electronic personal dosimeter (EPD), engineered to meet specific customer requirements and preferences for measuring workers' gamma radiation exposure.

Updates

TSA Guidance for Passengers on Heightened Security Measures in Place Following Dec. 25 Incidents

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has worked with airline and law enforcement authorities, as well as federal, state, local, and international partners to put additional security measures in place to ensure aviation security remains strong.

Updates

Amateur Radio Bill Passes Senate, Moves to The House

The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 if passed, would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to undertake a study on emergency communications.

Updates

Introducing the New Cybersecurity Coordinator, Howard Schmidt

President Barack Obama has selected Howard Schmidt as the Cybersecurity Coordinator. Howard has over 40 years of experience in government, business, and law-enforcement; and brings a unique and deep experience to this important issue.

Preparedness

Degrees of Progress - Emergency Management: Today and Tomorrow

by Kay C. Goss -

Pandemics, wildfires, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and an occasional tsunami - they are all in a day's work (not all in the same day, though) for the highly professional emergency managers now assigned to a higher seat at the decision-makers' table, and whose primary duty is teaching the nation not only how to cope but also how to survive.

Updates

Rapiscan Systems Awarded $3.2 Million Contract to Provide Security Inspection Systems at Vancouver Winter Olympics

The Rapiscan Systems' 600 series of baggage and parcel screening systems include dual-energy transmission X-ray scanning for detection of organic and inorganic materials, as well as sophisticated image analysis tools and an intuitive, easy-to-operate Graphical User Interface.

Updates

Statement By Deputy Press Secretary Matt Chandler on DHS' Efforts to Enhance Driver's License Security

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Janet Napolitano has supported the efforts of Governors and Congress to enact PASS ID, which puts states on the path to implementing national standards for identification documents and will enhance security across the country.

Updates

Everbridge Launches First Interactive, Web 2.0 Platform for Emergency Notifications

The Everbridge SmartGIS delivers a comprehensive, intuitive solution for critical citizen communication. From emergency incidents, such as hurricane evacuations to more routine communications like flash flood warnings and street closures, Everbridge SmartGIS solves the challenge of quickly and efficiently notifying citizens while providing emergency managers with critical information for improved decision-making.

Updates

FEMA Encourages Individuals to 'Resolve to be Ready'

FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Ready Campaign is reminding Americans to Resolve to be Ready in 2010. Resolve to be Ready is an annual initiative encouraging individuals, families, businesses and communities to make preparedness a part of their New Year resolutions.

Updates

BARDA Awards Contracts for Tests & Devices to Help The Nation Respond to a Radiological Emergency

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is awarding nine contracts for the advanced research and development of more effective tests and devices to determine the level of radiation a person has absorbed after a nuclear or radiological incident.

Updates

Chicago Fire Department Moves From Single-Gas to 4-Gas Monitors on Every Truck, Selects RAE Systems QRAE

The QRAE is a 4-gas confined space gas detector that can be deployed with one to four plug-in "smart" sensors for combustible gases (LEL), oxygen (O2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon monoxide (CO). The instrument can run up to 20 hours on a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and is housed in a rugged, water- and dust-resistant case.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Highlights DHS' Major Accomplishments in 2009

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano highlighted the Department's 2009 accomplishments in an address to employees - emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America's capabilities.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano & Michigan Governor Granholm Launch First of Its Kind Federal-State Cybersecurity

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced a first-of-its-kind federal-state cybersecurity partnership-deploying the federally-developed cybersecurity technology EINSTEIN 1 to Michigan's cyber networks.

Updates

3-GIS Buzz for BlackBerry Smartphones: Providing Instant Mobile Data to First Responders

Using Buzz, first responders have the ability to quickly access detailed information about resource availability and critical infrastructure.

Commentary

First-Person Report - Forecast 2010: A New Model for Disaster Management

by Mark Merritt -

When the moisture level in Iowa climbed several inches, and then several feet, last year, the residents of the Hawkeye state knew they were in for a very wet summer. The still-ongoing recovery process from the 2008 drenching required several new approaches, a courageous decision by the governor, and some very welcome outside help.

Healthcare

Hospital Preparedness 2010: Are Additional Advances Possible?

by Craig DeAtley -

A greater focus on NIMS objectives seems likely, as well as some HICS modifications. But the possibility of maintaining recent-year funding levels is already very unlikely, and the final version of the healthcare-reform bill, if enacted, has yet to be determined.

Preparedness

The Jeff Cooper Principles: Changes Needed in Personal Defensive Preparedness

by Joseph Trindal -

From time immemorial, and in every society on earth, those who enforce the law have themselves been targeted for death or injury by those who break the law. The attacks against U.S. police and other law-enforcement professionals have become both more frequent and more violent in recent years. Fortunately, there are seven USMC-tested principles for personal survival that can be used to turn the tables on the lawbreakers.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces Grant Guidance for More Than $250 Million in Fiscal Year 2010 Transit Security Grants

"These transit grants play a major role in our efforts to work with our state, local, tribal, territorial, and private-sector partners to build a national culture of readiness and resilience," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "This year's guidance focuses on maximizing efficiency and value while prioritizing risk in awarding grants to strengthen our nation's transportation security."

Updates

Hospitals Prepare for Second H1N1 Wave With Western Shelter GateKeeper Portable Triage/Treatment Facilities

As the first wave of H1N1 flu recedes across the United States, hospital emergency-preparedness managers are reviewing their lessons learned in preparation for what many believe will be an even greater assault on their hospitals. Providence Health Systems deployed its GateKeeper alternative-care facilities just outside the hospital's emergency department (ED) to protect the hospital and staff from exposure while still providing appropriate care to the community.

Updates

FEMA Administrator Fugate Meets With HBCU Leadership to Discuss Partnership in Preparedness

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate addressed presidents, provosts, chancellors, and deans from a number of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) from across the country. The meeting was designed to provide the schools participating with an introduction to emergency management, a basic overview of EMI's (Emergency Management Institutes) higher education programs & an opportunity to hear from leading professionals in the field of emergency management.

Updates

Phoenix Group of Virginia Inc. Provides Refined Line of First-Responder Products

The Phoenix Group has established a line of technologically advanced and innovative first-responder products, each of which provides specific solutions to problems first responders might encounter at any time.

Updates

HHS Offers Special Webcast on '2009 H1N1 Influenza' for Health Care Providers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will host a "Know What to Do about the Flu" webcast on Wednesday, December 16, 2009. The webcast will feature the U.S. Surgeon General, experts from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the American Medical Association.

Updates

DRASH Assists Brazilian Authorities in Flood Response

Authorities set up two 442-square-foot Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter (DRASH) TMSS (Trailer Mounted Support System) Medium soft-walled shelter systems as a medical clinic. Doctors & nurses used the facility, which was equipped with power and air conditioning, to treat people for heat stroke, dehydration, cuts, and sprains, and to administer hundreds of vaccinations.

Updates

European Health Care Systems to Have Greater Access to Stackable Transportation Chairs STAXI

STAXI Global Marketing Manager David Gallant said: "Many healthcare facilities and airports internationally are familiar with the concept of what is commonly called 'stackable wheelchairs.' However, STAXI is quite different from other mobility solutions; it is a safe, robust and comfortable transportation 'system' that pays for itself. This is rather new concept for most of Europe."

Updates

King Pharmaceuticals Licenses Exclusive Rights to CYANOKIT in United States

CYANOKIT is the only emergency antidote indicated for both known and suspected cyanide poisoning. The CYANOKIT will be sold and distributed through Meridian Medical Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of King Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Updates

Introducing WebEOC Mapper Professional 2.1

With the new WebEOC Mapper Professional Version 2.1, decision makers at emergency operations centers can create a dynamic, geographically based common operating picture without the need for specialized GIS (Geographic Information System) or mapping experience.

Updates

TransLucid Adds Sensor Rendering to U.S. Army's Synthetic Environment (SE) Core Data Sets

The Falcon performs the physics calculations, shader based rendering, and image post processing effects required to visualize the sensor data sets in real-time.

Updates

FEMA & FCC Announce Adoption of Standards for Wireless Carriers to Receive & Deliver Emergency Alerts Via Mobile Devices

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the adoption of design specifications for the development of a gateway interface that will enable wireless carriers to provide customers with timely and accurate emergency alerts and warnings via their cell phones and other mobile devices.

Updates

DQE Expands to New Headquarters

"Our company has doubled in size in the past five years due to our continued focus on unique product and service innovation, and superior customer service," said DQE President, Howard Levitin, M.D., FACEP. "I look forward to the greater manufacturing and distribution capabilities that our new location will accommodate."

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Unveils 'Virtual USA' Information-Sharing

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has officially launched Virtual USA, an innovative information-sharing initiative - developed in collaboration with the emergency-response community and state and local governments throughout the nation - that helps federal, state, local, and tribal first responders communicate during emergencies.

Updates

Skedco's Mass Casualty/Hazmat Decontaminable Sked Stretcher

Sked's is a shuttle system used for evacuation purposes after major incidents. Sked's allows rescuers to enter the "hot zone," place victims onto an HMD (Haz-Mat Decontaminable) Sked, signals a decontamination station, and personnel at decon station will easily drag the patient to safety.

Updates

Frost & Sullivan Recognizes EMSystems With The 2009 Product Innovation of the Year Award for EMTrac

EMTrack is a multi-functional tracking solution that transforms the way healthcare officials collaborate to track people, patients, evacuees and associated property and equipment during hospital evacuations, large scale events, mass casualty incidents and public health emergencies.

Commentary

Party Crashers Should Go From White House to Big House

by Bradley Blakeman -

Allegations, accusations, denials, congressional hearings, alleged cover-ups, and a raft of unanswered questions. That is the residue (so far) of one of the most publicized and, for practical purposes, least substantive "news stories of the year." There are, though, a few "actual facts," so to speak, that might also be mentioned. Just as a start.

Preparedness

The Coast Guard Looks Ahead: A Closer Spirit of Cooperation With Local Agencies

by Corey Ranslem -

For many decades the U.S. Coast Guard was the nation's "forgotten service" - except in time of war. In an era when international terrorism is the greatest threat to the U.S. homeland, though, the multi-mission service has moved front and center to a starring role. But it needs help from the private sector.

Preparedness

2010: Will It Be 'The Year of the IMT'?

by Steven Grainer -

Eight years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks U.S. planners say that the nation is now "better" prepared than it was in 2001 - but not yet totally prepared. What they do not say is that total preparedness is a philosophical as well as financial impossibility. Continued improvements are the second best option, therefore, and definitely worth the cost involved.

Healthcare

Emergency Preparedness in Healthcare - 2010 & Beyond

by Theodore (Ted) Tully -

Emergency planners, political and budget decision makers, and the general public are almost always more focused on preparing for last year's hurricane than they are concerned about this year's sudden earthquake, or tsunami, or - much more likely - long-predicted pandemic. Which is why common sense must sometimes take precedence.

Updates

Idaho Technology's FilmArray Receives Military Funding for CLIA Waiver Effort

The FilmArray integrates sample preparation, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) amplification, detection, and analysis into one easy-to-use system capable of detecting greater than 100 targets in one sample in less than an hour. CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) waivers apply to tests that are simple to perform and interpret and can be used by non-technically trained operators in virtually any laboratory setting.

Updates

TechRadium, Leading Notification Firm, Receives New Patent for Utility Work

TechRadium Inc., a Texas-based company that leads its sector with cutting-edge advances for electronic notification and response systems, has received another patent for its growing business, this time focused on utilities that use the company's IRIS product - Immediate Response Information System.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces Grant Guidance for More Than $2.7 Billion in Fiscal Year 2010 Grant Programs

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the release of fiscal year 2010 grant application guidance kits for 13 DHS grant programs totaling more than $2.7 billion - funds for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments & private sector entities to strengthen the nation's ability to prevent, protect, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

Updates

Fyrban Introduces the ATac Line of FR (Flame Resistant) Coveralls - Built for Tactical Performance

These special-duty flame-resistant coveralls possess built-in toughness and uncompromising features, and are designed to provide maximum comfort and protection.

Updates

FEMA and Department of Health & Human Services' AFC Improve Disaster Case Management Through Interagency Agreement

The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Children and Families (ACF) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have signed an interagency agreement to implement an improved coordinated disaster case-management program.

Updates

L-3 Security & Detection Systems Receives TSA Certification for eXaminer XLB

The eXaminer XLB high-performance explosives detection system (EDS) has been certified by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The eXaminer XLB, designed as a high-speed in-line system, is the first certified system to meet the industry's high-speed EDS classification.

Reports

CBP & ICE Release Annual Report on Counterfeit Goods Seized

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that in fiscal year 2009 the two agencies made 14,841 seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods with a total domestic value of $260.7 million.

View Full Report
Updates

Remarks by DHS Secretary Napolitano at the Interagency Council for Applied Homeland Security Technology's Counter-IED Symposium

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke about the serious threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the shared responsibility to counter these still evolving dangers. She also stressed the importance of protecting the nation's critical infrastructure from IEDs and other threats.

Reports

GAO Report: DHS's Progress & Challenges in Key Areas of Maritime, Aviation, and Cybersecurity

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides a well documented report on the progress made and challenges faced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in key maritime, aviation, and cybersecurity areas.

View Full Report
Updates

Mortuary Response Solutions (MRS) Develops Portable Mass Fatality Remains Storage Systems

MRS has worked with military, federal, and state agencies, as well as private firms, to use a total-solution approach to the handling of mass fatalities. The solution: portable cold-storage capability - i.e., the MERCSystem (Mortuary Enhanced Remains Cooling System), which is the first direct-contact cooling system using liquid cooling technology for the storage of human remains.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces New Study to Protect Against Chemical Attacks & Bolster Emergency Planning Efforts

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announced that a new DHS Science & Technology Directorate-led study will examine the probable behavior of airborne contaminants that might be released in public transportation systems.

Resilience

An Opportunity Beckons: Converging Disaster Recovery and Infrastructure Resilience

by Dennis R. Schrader -

Prevention - of terrorist attacks and/or other mass-casualty incidents - is and must be the first priority in homeland security. But when, not if, prevention fails, as it sometimes will, recovery and resilience move to center stage. The problem is that much has been accomplished in those areas, but much more is still required, and time is running short.

Healthcare

Destination Decisions: Back to the Future, Again and Again

by Joseph Cahill -

Ambulance drivers, EMTs, and other responders may not yet be able to perform brain surgery or heart transplants at the accident scene - but that time might be not too far off, thanks to rapid and continuing advances in medical technology, ultrasound and data-retrieval systems, and other scientific breakthroughs.

Updates

RAE Systems Granted U.S. Patent for Radiation Detector Dosimeter

Peter Hsi, chief technology officer for RAE Systems, said that "We believe this award asserts our leadership in detection innovation, and now we have 20 patents and patents pending. We work closely with our customers to ensure we continually enhance solutions to meet changing needs."

Updates

NATO Awards Rapiscan Systems $5 Million Contract for Integrated Security Screening Solution

Rapiscan Systems' President Ajay Mehra said that "We are pleased NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization] has chosen Rapiscan to meet its requirements for reliable and comprehensive threat detection. This award demonstrates our ability to provide end-to-end layered security screening solutions that address a wide range of threats in the most demanding environments."

Updates

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

The Department of Homeland Security has released its weekly update on the appropriation of Recovery Act funds.

Updates

WPI Receives $1 Million to Develop Integrated Monitoring System Aimed at Preventing Firefighter Injuries & Deaths

The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has received a one-year $1 million award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop the final component of an integrated monitoring system designed to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries by precisely locating and tracking them, in three dimensions, inside buildings.