december 2011

Updates

CBP Receives Fourth Predator-B in Arizona

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has received another unmanned aircraft - the fourth one headquartered at the National Air Security Operations Center in Sierra Vista, Ariz. Flights performed from this location will provide critical aerial surveillance to CBP border security personnel on the ground along the nation's Southwest border.

Reports

Counterterrorism 2012 Calendar

The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center is pleased to present the 2012 edition of the Counterterrorism (CT) Calendar. The Calendar, which marks dates according to the Gregorian and Islamic calendars, features significant dates in terrorism history as well as dates that terrorists may believe are important when planning attacks to commemorate particular events.

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Updates

DHS and DOD Announce Continued Partnership in Strengthening Southwest Border Security

The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have announced they will continue their critical partnership to further strengthen the already unprecedented levels of personnel, technology, and infrastructure along the nation's Southwest border - an effort representing the Administration's ongoing commitment to secure the border and facilitate legitimate trade and travel.

Updates

FEMA Blog: Share Your Ideas to Help Strengthen the Nation's Preparedness

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched an ongoing dialogue asking for the input from private citizens as the agency develops the next set of documents needed to meet the milestones required by Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) on National Preparedness.

Updates

Obama Administration Releases Food Safety Tips

In preparation for the holiday season, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a progress report highlighting the accomplishments and strategies of President Obamas Food Safety Working Group (FSWG) combined with useful information for consumers on safe food handling. 

Updates

TSA Announces Launch of TSA Cares

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the launch of TSA Cares today, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions, prior to getting to the airport.

Updates

Secretary Napolitano Highlights DHS Progress in 2011

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano highlights the major steps DHS has taken this year to: enhance America's capabilities to guard against terrorism; secure the nation's borders; engage in smart enforcement of U.S. immigration laws; safeguard and secure cyberspace; prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters; and mature and strengthen the nation's overall homeland security enterprise.

Preparedness

Incident Management Doctrine: Who Is In Charge?

by Marko Bourne & Mary Anne McKown -

Protection of the U.S. homeland requires superior and continuing performance by both thinkers and doers. The latter work is more dangerous and deservedly receives more publicity. The thinking part is more tedious, though, and continues with no end in sight. Thinkers now face another mountain to climb with the implementation of PPD-8 and redrafting of HSPD-5.

Preparedness

Social Media - The Path Ahead

by Mary Lilley -

Instead of fighting the inevitable, a growing number of forward-looking emergency managers and political leaders are using social media as a low-cost, immediately accessible, and surprisingly efficient way to keep the public at large informed - on a continuing basis - about impending disasters and the response, recovery, and mitigation operations that follow.

Commentary

Emergency Management - Measurements of Success

by Mitch Saruwatari -

Government officials and everyday citizens agree that U.S. preparedness capabilities are immeasurably greater today than they were on 11 September 2001. The key word in that sentence, though, is "immeasurably," because there is still no consensus, particularly in the fields of healthcare and emergency management, on how to establish verifiable standards, quantify improvements, and identify the readiness gaps still remaining.

Commentary

FINAL REPORT: Electronic Medical Records

by Dennis Jones, DP40 Advisor -

Regardless of specialty, the number one priority for all emergency preparedness professionals is to save lives. A victim's chance of survival decreases with delays in transport and incomplete records or medical history. This report focuses on patient tracking, new health IT infrastructures, challenges faced by the healthcare industry, and the vehicles and platforms necessary to form an effective data solution for the healthcare and emergency management industries.

Updates

Resolve to Be Ready in 2012

As 2011 - one of the most active years for disasters in recent history - comes to a close and Americans get ready to ring in a new year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging all Americans to Resolve to Be Ready in the by making a new year's resolution to be prepared for emergencies.

Updates

Cubic Receives Navy ID/IQ Contract for Training Systems

Cubic Simulation Systems has been selected to receive the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) Training Systems Contract (TSC) III, Lot I. This multiple-award contract covers the training systems requirements of the Naval Air Systems Command's Aviation Training Systems Program Office as well as the Program Directorates for Aviation, Surface, Undersea, and Cross-Warfare/International at the Naval Air Warfare Center Training System Division.

Updates

Readout of Secretary Napolitano's Meeting With Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently met with Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to discuss the ongoing partnership between the United States and Canada to strengthen border security and information sharing capabilities to better combat cross-border crime while also expediting legitimate trade and travel.

Updates

Infinova Expands Global Presence With Acquisition of March Networks

"The combination of Infinova's global robust manufacturing, research, and development capabilities and March Networks' innovative technological design provides our customers with industry-leading, complete video security solutions," said Dr. Jeffrey Liu, chairman of Infinova.

Updates

TSA-Expedited Screening Pilot Starts at McCarran International Airport

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole has announced the start of TSA PreCheck operations at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport, and said that US Airways will offer TSA PreCheck to eligible passengers in early 2012. These initiatives mark the implementation of additional key components of the agency's intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to security.

Updates

Luke Ritter Joins Halo Maritime Defense Systems Board of Advisors

"We are extremely excited about having Luke work with us to bring our innovative security solution to market, and enable total security of vital waterside assets around the world," said HALO Chief Executive Paul Jensen. "His expertise will be a great asset to the HALO team."

Commentary

Today and Tomorrow: Approaching the Mythical Tricorder

by Christopher Wrenn -

The detection and identification capabilities of today's U.S. military and homeland-security units are still short of Starfleet status. But they are getting light years closer, thanks in large part to current and projected budget cutbacks that reward both versatility and creative thinking and punish those who do not see "the whole elephant."

Preparedness

Defining Emergency Management in the 21st Century

by Anthony S. Mangeri Sr. -

The profession of emergency management has come a long, long way from the streets of London to the gates of the White House, but the policing principles enunciated by Sir Robert Peel provide a strong foundation for President Barack Obama's Presidential Policy Directive 8 on National Preparedness and its goal to "bring the nation together as a whole" to prepare for any and all disasters "that threaten U.S. security and resiliency."

Commentary

An Interview with The Honorable Tom Ridge

by Aaron Sean Poynton -

The former DHS Secretary provides his own nonpartisan insights on the current state of U.S. emergency preparedness, comments on many areas of progress - and some gaps still to be filled - and offers a number of helpful short- and long-term recommendations for the future.

Updates

Cassidian Communications CORP25 LMR System Acceptance Declared by City of Richardson

Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, announced full system acceptance of its CORP25 digital, turnkey, P25 Land Mobile Radio (LMR) network by the City of Richardson, Texas. The CORP25 solution includes hardware, software, system engineering, installation, and optimization as well as long-term managed services and 7/24 maintenance and support. The City has already migrated all of its general government users onto the network and is preparing to cover its public safety users next.

Updates

CBP's 2011 Fiscal Year in Review

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released year-end data on fiscal year 2011 border enforcement and management efforts, highlighting trends that reflect the Administration's ongoing commitment to securing the border and facilitating legitimate trade and travel through targeted operations, enhanced partnerships, and the unprecedented deployment of personnel, technology, and infrastructure along the border.

Reports

SIP to Empower Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in U.S.

President Obama recently released an implementation plan for efforts to counter "homegrown" violent extremism within the United States. The document known as the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) is a follow-up to the National Strategy on Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States, which was released by the White House in August 2011.

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Updates

NORTHCOM Improves Communication Efficiency in Phoenix Nuclear Exercise

The Arizona Vigilant Guard exercise involved approximately 250 government agencies and 8,000 participants responding to simulated flooding and the detonation of an improvised nuclear device in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The teams involved were tasked with providing satellite-based reach-back communications; however, the concrete and rebar building construction blocked signal transmission to the Joint Operations Center (JOC). Deployment of the recently delivered SATPAK cellular and satellite data relay system, manufactured by 308 SYSTEMS, solved this urgent need.

Updates

National Fire Academy Launches FESHE Recognition Program

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has announced a new National Fire Academy (NFA) program opportunity for educational institutions offering undergraduate fire-science degree programs. This effort is designed to offer national recognition to students participating in the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) model core associate's and bachelor's courses.

Updates

The Teletrix SP418 Series Probe Pak Simulation Package

Teletrix Corporation, the country's leading producer of simulated radiation meters, introduces the Teletrix SP418 Series Probe Pak Simulation Package, which is designed for placement between a working radiation meter and a radiation probe. The meter interprets the pulses received as if it was detecting radiation, providing a reading of apparent radiation without exposure to the trainee.

Updates

U.S. Tox21 to Begin Screening 10,000 Chemicals

A high-speed robotic screening system, aimed at protecting human health by improving how chemicals are tested in the United States, has started to test 10,000 compounds for potential toxicity. Testing this 10,000-compound library begins a new phase of an ongoing collaboration - referred to as Tox21 - between the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Updates

RAZOR EX Passes DHS-Sponsored SPADA Evaluation

Idaho Technology Inc. has announced that the RAZOR EX BioThreat Detection System has been approved and certified as an Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) Performance Tested method for the detection of Bacillus anthracis spores collected by air collection devices onto filter or liquid matrices. The certification is part of a Department of Homeland Security sponsored program with AOAC International & the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Agent Detection Assays (SPADA) to establish a national program for the testing and validation of biosurveillance systems.

Healthcare

The 2012 Public Health Preparedness Summit: Regroup, Refocus, Refresh

by Jack Herrmann -

New technologies and greater budgetary, political, and workplace challenges, so what else is new? That is the question that participants in next year's Anaheim "Summit" will do their best to answer while also devising better and more imaginative ways to, as always, do more with less resources...and with fewer people.

Commentary

Biosurveillance: Detecting the Next 'Silent' Attack

by Lou Banks -

As emergency managers and preparedness planners well know, the use of biological weapons against the United States, or any other nation, would probably be much longer lasting, and more devastating in its long-term consequences, than a nuclear attack. Which is why detection and prevention offer not only the best hope for "success" - however that flexible term is defined - but also, probably, the only hope.

Healthcare

The Future of EMS: Upward & Outward

by Joseph Cahill -

In the Old West, the town barber often served as the town doctor as well. The parallel today is far from exact, but the current generation of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) is rapidly learning new and more advanced skills. By using such technologically advanced medical systems and devices, the capabilities and responsibilities of EMTs have expanded exponentially and are likely to continue on the same upward trajectory for the foreseeable future.

Updates

Cubic Global Tracking Solutions Awarded Army's Wireless Mesh Network Expansion Contract for Kuwait Bases

Cubic Global Tracking Solutions has been awarded a contract of approximately $3.5 million for the U.S. Army to expand the use of the Next Generation Wireless Communications (NGWC) solution, which employs Cubic's wireless mesh network, for yard management applications at three U.S. bases in Kuwait.

Preparedness

Mass Shootings: Planning and Response Considerations

Critical incidents such as school shootings, workplace violence incidents, domestic violence attacks, and terrorist threats are occurring with alarming frequency. This four-hour planning and response course led by the Kernersville Fire Department will help public safety agencies and crisis planners adapt to these changes in society so that the appropriate delivery of emergency services is ensured in a time of crisis.

Updates

Presidential Proclamation - Critical Infrastructure Protection Month, 2011

President Barack Obama has declared December as Critical Infrastructure Protection Month. During Critical Infrastructure Protection Month, Americans should reflect on their collective responsibility to protect the vital systems and assets that sustain the nation and the American people. Strengthening U.S. national security and resilience is a task for all Americans.

Updates

ElanTech Releases IMDSS Version 1.1

ElanTech has announced that the software Version 1.1 of its Incident Management Decision Support System (IMDSS) is now available. IMDSS provides an innovative web-based software product for simple, secure information sharing to incident response teams.

Updates

Walden Subcommittee Allocates D Block

The Public Safety Alliance (PSA) has announced that it is pleased that the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee took action to allocate 10 MHz of spectrum within the 700 MHz band, or D block, to public safety while providing up to $6.5 billion for construction of a nationwide 20 MHz interoperable public safety broadband network for the nation's first responders.

Updates

EPA Releases Formerly Confidential Chemical Information

As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's commitment to enhance the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's chemicals management program and increase transparency, the agency is making hundreds of studies available to the public on chemicals that previously had been treated as confidential business information (CBI). It is hoped that releasing this data will expand the public's access to critical health and safety information on chemicals that are manufactured and processed in the United States itself.