december 2010

Updates

Washington DOH Services Selects IRMS for Statewide Emergency & Inventory Management

The Washington Department of Health (DOH) has selected IRMS|360 Enterprise to manage the state's public health resources. The software solution provides the DOH's Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEPR) program with a robust, easy-to-use system for real-time visibility and accurate tracking of the state's critical emergency equipment and pharmaceutical-related inventories.

Updates

CDC Reports That One in Six Become Sick from Foodborne Illnesses Annually

"We've made progress in better understanding the burden of foodborne illness and, unfortunately, far too many people continue to get sick from the food they eat," said CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "These estimates provide valuable information to help CDC and its partners set priorities and further reduce illnesses from food."

Updates

OnSSI Provides Security System for Canada's Highest Profile Sporting Event In 2010

OnSSI installed a new, networked video system at BC Place, the multi-purpose stadium in Vancouver that was the site of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Games. Cobra Integrated Systems (CIS) was chosen to supply and install a complete upgrade of the existing video security system to prepare BC Place for the Winter Games, and the new system had to be digital, scalable and able to accommodate at least 160 cameras.

Updates

FEMA Region V Administrator Velasquez Encourages Americans To Resolve To Be Ready In 2011

Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging all Americans to make emergency preparedness one of their New Year's resolutions for the coming year. Resolve to be Ready in 2011 is a nationwide effort urging individuals, families, businesses and communities to focus on being ready and aware of all the hazards that exist in their communities.

Updates

In Response to Al-Qaeda's Threat of Ricin in the Food Supply, UNDT Makes Its Ricin Detection Equipment Available to the Food & Hospitality Industry

Universal Detection Technology (UNDT) a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and other infectious health threats, and provider of counter-terrorism consulting and training services, reported they have made detection equipment available to the food service and hospitality industry in response to Al-Qaeda's threat to poison food and salad bars with ricin toxin.

Updates

Thermo Fisher Scientific Supplies DOD with Portable Chemical & Explosives Identification Instruments

Thermo Fisher has announced that it has completed its shipment to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) of more than 270 Thermo Scientific FirstDefender RMX instruments. FirstDefender RMX instruments are handheld Raman spectrometers used by military, homeland security, and other first responders for the identification of explosives and other hazardous chemical materials.

Updates

Secretary Napolitano Highlights DHS' Major Accomplishments in 2010

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano highlighted the Department's 2010 accomplishments in an address to employees - emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America's capabilities to guard against terrorism; secure the nation's borders; engage in smart enforcement of our immigration laws; safeguard and secure cyberspace; prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters; and unify and mature the Department.

Updates

FEMA Official to Give Opening Keynote Address at The 2011 Public Health Preparedness Summit

by Jack Herrmann -

Public health professionals from across the country will convene in Atlanta, Georgia, on 23-25 February 2011 for the annual Public Health Preparedness Summit. This year's opening keynote address will be given by Richard Serino, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), who plans to discuss FEMA's role in building the nation's resilience to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other public health emergencies.

Reports

Fact Sheet: DHS 2010 Accomplishments & Reforms

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fact sheet on the accomplishments the Department has made throughout 2010 to enhance America's capabilities to guard against terrorism, secure the borders, enforce immigration laws, safeguard & secure cyberspace, and prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

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Commentary

Intelligent EOC Design: Today & Tomorrow

by James (Jim) Fulton, Founder and Board Member, ESi -

In ancient times - more specifically, the late 20th century - the emergency operations center was often whatever room at police headquarters, or in the Town Hall, happened to be vacant when the tornado struck. Today it is a well designed and properly equipped almost tailor-made space ready for use 24/7. And tomorrow's EOC will be even better - almost futuristic, in fact.

Updates

Readout of DHS Secretary Napolitano's Remarks at The Atlantic's Cybersecurity Forum

"Cybersecurity is about effective partnerships and shared security," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "The Obama administration is committed to working closely with our partners across government and in the private sector to achieve a cyberspace that is safe and resilient, and that remains a source of opportunity and growth"

Updates

Monitor Dynamics FICAM Platform Selected By CertiPath for PIV-I Testing

Monitor Dynamics has been selected by CertiPath, the United States Federal Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Policy Authority's partner for testing Personal Identification Verification and Interoperability credentials (PIV-I) used for physical and logical access control, to be the central physical access control system to be used for all certification testing. Monitor Dynamics' Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) Platform will be the first system with which all PIV-I credentials must successfully operate.

Updates

FEMA Launches New Blog

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched a new blog in order to have ongoing conversations with all stakeholders before, during, and after a disaster.

Updates

Bruker Detection Wins U.S. Navy Contract for Chemical Detection

Bruker Detection Corporation has announced that it has been awarded a contract for ten (10) production systems for the Improved Point Detection System-Lifecycle Replacement (IPDS-LR) program approved through the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) for chemical detection use by the U.S. Navy.

Reports

Conflicting Objectives: An Analysis of the U.S. State Department's Assessment of the Mujahedin-e Khalq

This report analyzes the U.S. State Department's objectivity in assessing the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran, also known as PMOI or MeK, to determine if it was engaged in terrorism and the conflicting policies at the Department that biased its view toward the group.

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Updates

Improved Protection from Toxic Gases & Vapors in Overhaul Operations

by Christopher Wrenn, Senior Director, Sales & Marketing, Environics USA -

Experienced firefighters know that "putting out the fire" is only the first part of the job. The next and potentially more dangerous part is carrying out the so-called "overhaul" operations - a task that begins with reliable detection devices, the best of which may well be the new "orthogonal" systems now on the market.

Commentary

Healthcare Emergency Preparedness: An Improved Game Plan for 2011

by Mitch Saruwatari, Vice President, Quality & Compliance, LiveProcess -

The names of the players, the weekly practices, and the physical skills required may be different, but the principles are the same: Teamwork, advance preparation, proper coaching, and dedication are essential to final victory - whether the battle is on the football field, at the scene of a mass-casualty incident, in an ambulance, or in the hospital emergency room.

Commentary

A Breath of Fresh Air: The Best Respiratory Protection at the Most Reasonable Cost

by Gary Dunn, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Avon Protection Systems Inc. -

Continuing budget constraints will make it very difficult for agencies at all levels of government - including the nation's armed forces and homeland-security departments - to upgrade their "hardware" inventories during the coming year. For first responders, getting the most protection for the lowest acceptable cost could be a breathtaking challenge. Literally.

Updates

FP&S 'Get Ready' Guide

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) application period will be opening soon! The AFG has created a handy guide that will give applicants a kick-start in prepping for their grant applications. It also will better prepare them to thoroughly answer the application questions.

Updates

Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt Urges D Block Auction

Former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director, and CEO of Witt Associates, James Lee Witt joined a broad-based group of stakeholders calling for a public auction of valuable 700 MHz spectrum as the most efficient and effective way to ensure construction of a nationwide & interoperable broadband network for the nation's first responders.

Updates

CBP El Paso Implements 'Ready Lane' Pilot Program

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced a pilot program, the "Ready Lane," at the El Paso port of entry/Ysleta international crossing for travelers with approved Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology-enabled travel documents.

Updates

U.S. and New Zealand Sign Memorandum to Strengthen Emergency Management Collaboration

The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management establishes a framework for information sharing and emergency management cooperation - including the exchange of lessons learned from previous disasters and exercises as well as best practices related to education and training, public awareness efforts, community and organizational resilience, and risk assessment.

Updates

HES Preps EMTs and Paramedics for Rapid Employment Growth

Health Education Solutions, the leading provider of continuing education solutions for healthcare professionals, has released a new First Responder Special Section. This series of articles, infographics, vignettes and important facts about first responder certification is available in Health Education Solutions' online research library.

Updates

L-3 Announces Broad Deployment of ProVision Checkpoint Screening Systems

"We are proud to support the first phase of TSA's efforts to safeguard the traveling public at airports throughout the United States," said Thomas M. Ripp, president of L-3 Security & Detection Systems. "L-3's ProVision is an upgradeable technology platform, and we are pleased to continue to work closely with TSA to provide technology that will detect an even broader range of emerging aviation threats."

Updates

RAE Systems Introduces RAELink3 Z1 Wireless Modem for Gas-Detection Monitors

RAE Systems has introduced the ATEX-certified RAELink3 Z1, a long-range wireless modem that provides a reliable and intrinsically safe way for safety professionals to easily integrate gas-and-radiation monitors from RAE Systems, and select third-party companies, into a single RAE Systems wireless detection system.

Updates

FCC Launches New Webpage Dedicated to Public Safety Communications

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has launched a new webpage dedicated to providing information and assistance to licensees migrating their land mobile radio systems from 25 kHz to 12.5 kHz or narrower channel bandwidth.

Commentary

Lessons Learned: Mass Casualties and Communication Gaps

by Sophia Paros -

After-action reports are better than nothing, but more detailed planning - before a major catastrophe - would be much better. That is the principal lesson learned from the terrorist bombings of the London Underground commuter lines on 7 July 2005. Future such attacks may be impossible to stop, but the casualty totals should be much lower - IF that very important lesson is not only learned but also acted upon.

Commentary

A Mandatory Need for Gold Standard Sampling

by Rodney Hudson, Founder/Owner, QuickSilver Analytics Inc. -

The sampling of toxic gases, vapors, etc., at mass-casualty scenes can be no better than the equipment used to gather the sample, whether intended for on-scene analysis or at a fully qualified laboratory. Lives are at stake, which means strict adherence to gold-standard measurements: at the scene, in the lab, and on the protective clothing worn by first responders.

Updates

Readout of DHS Secretary Napolitano's Remarks at the Bureau of Justice Assistance National Conference

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano addressed more than 1,000 state and local criminal-justice professionals at the 2010 Bureau of Justice Assistance National Conference - highlighting the critical role they play in protecting the nation through information-driven, community-based efforts such as the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative.

Updates

Samsung Techwin America Announces Compatibility With Ocularis Software

This integration incorporates the superior image quality and advanced functionality of Samsung's line of network cameras with the Ocularis video management software. Ocularis enables users to monitor and manage events, from multiple vendors' security products, under a single umbrella.

Updates

SAME San Antonio Post Hosts Readiness Workshop

The San Antonio Post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) has completed a highly successful Readiness & Homeland Security (R&HS) Workshop focused on "Emergency Response Opportunities." The workshop informed a large audience about the Society's R&HS Mission and explained how SAME members can assist in local emergency responses.

Updates

Hiram College & My LifePlan to Offer Emergency Medical Information Service for Students & Faculty

University students face a never-ending stream of potential threats ranging from fire to drug- and alcohol-related incidents to accidents of various types. In all such events, making sure that first responders and hospital staff have access to vital medical information can make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. MyChoice delivers that medical information immediately, via the swipe of a finger or the use of an ID card.

Reports

GAO: Aviation Security

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued the following report: Aviation Security: DHS Has Taken Steps to Enhance International Aviation Security and Facilitate Compliance with International Standards, but Challenges Remain. The GAO highlights the ongoing threats to aviation security discussed in the report, and the need to coordinate U.S. security standards and practices.

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Healthcare

Leadership at the Scene of a Mass-Casualty Incident

by Joseph Cahill -

Not surprisingly, almost all media coverage of MCI situations focuses on the incident itself, the innocent victims, and the heroism shown by EMS techs and other responders. Little if any attention is paid, though, to the mundane organizational and administrative tasks involved in establishing an effective, well trained, and exceptionally capable team of experienced professionals.

Updates

DHS Achieves Major Aviation Security Milestone One Month Ahead of Schedule

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced that 100 percent of passengers on flights within or bound for the United States are now being checked against government watchlists - fulfilling a key 9/11 Commission recommendation a month ahead of schedule.

Updates

Presidential Proclamation - Critical Infrastructure Protection Month

President Barack Obama has proclaimed December 2010 as Critical Infrastructure Protection Month, and during this month will highlight the vast network of systems and structures that sustain the vigor and vitality of the United States and the American people.

Commentary

Bringing Greater Life-Saving Capabilities to the Incident Scene

by Brad Stobb, Regional Support Manager, DHS Systems LLC -

Coming soon: New and highly capable CERFPs and better- trained and -equipped WMD CSTs. The acronyms are daunting and impossible to pronounce, but they represent another quantum leap in U.S. homeland-preparedness capabilities, with special significance at the state, local, and community levels of government.