The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced channeling service provider agreements with three award recipients: the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), L-1, and Telos ID. Through aviation channeling service providers, employee data is collected and submitted to TSA to conduct the employee threat assessments necessary to work in an aviation environment.
Lumidigm and Imprivata have announced a partnership to deliver an integrated solution for healthcare clinicians that require reliable and fast access to electronic medical record (EMR) applications when wearing surgical gloves. Biometrics access has been proven to be the most simple and cost-effective way to maintain patient privacy and to manage the distribution of controlled substances.
OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) has produced a new training video for healthcare employers and workers that explains the proper use of respirators and the procedures to follow to assure that respirators protect workers from airborne hazards in healthcare settings.
Avon Protection Systems, a world leader in the design and manufacturing of personal respiratory protection solutions, is expanding its operations in Maryland with a new 16,000 sq. ft. facility in Belcamp. The larger facility will help Avon Protection meet the growing demand for personal respiratory protection as it increases its market share in North America and continues to build its relationship with its biggest client, the U.S. Department of Defense.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) have announced a new partnership to stimulate innovation in regulatory science, ethics, education, and training. The partnership enhances the capabilities of both institutions to meet their common goal of improving public health in the U.S. and globally.
The Freedom 6000, which supports the detection of toxic and combustible gases, incorporates a universal transmitter into a fixed gas detection system, simplifying maintenance and reducing training costs. The system combines Scott's advanced sensor technology with a modular design to facilitate simple component replacements and field upgrades.
Team EMS [TEMS] Inc of Quebec Canada has merged with Loon Landing Advisors to form an LLC headquartered in Washington DC with offices in Stanstead QC and Savannah GA. Loon Landing Advisors LLC is a management consulting firm that specializes in solving problems for micro-enterprises and small established businesses.
It might look like a yacht and might even maneuver like a yacht. But it could be, instead, a cleverly disguised missile launcher, in yacht's clothing, entering New York Harbor or coming up the Potomac to strike a new blow for Islamic fundamentalism and against the wicked American imperialists. Here is a quick preview of how U.S. decision-makers are hoping to deal with this immensely violent new threat "From the Sea."
The protection of high-value sites is one of the principal tasks spelled out in federal, state, local, and private-sector resilience policies and programs - most of which focus primarily on risk assessments, advance planning, and the implementation of effective security measures. A "fourth leg" - functional security testing - is needed, though, to balance and buttress the other three legs that have to date been receiving the bulk of attention, and most of the fiscal resources as well.
The four keys to maintaining and improving the nation's public health and emergency preparedness, according to HSPD-21 and other policy directives, are improved capabilities in bio-surveillance, countermeasures distribution, mass-casualty care, and community resilience. Considerable progress has been made in upgrading the first three of those essential "components" - but the term "resilience" is still not very well understood, neither by national decision-makers nor by the American people at large.
Looking for a career that is in demand and requires comprehensive emergency management experience and education? The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), is now offering a masters degree in crisis & emergency management that can be completed in 24 months.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released the Emergency Responder Field Operations Guide (ER FOG), which was drafted to assist emergency response personnel in the use of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System during incident operations.
TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Administrator John S. Pistole recently participated in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Regional Conference, in New Delhi, India, during which the 14 member states in attendance adopted a new "Security Roadmap on Aviation." The roadmap identifies the actions that member states will take to strengthen security screening procedures by ensuring that professionals are appropriately trained and equipped.
"We're doing this work so that our troops, who are at the leading edge of U.S. operations overseas, can be confident that they are protected against toxic materials and can survive, safely operate, and accomplish their missions within hazardous environments," said Chris Gunther, Vice President of Battelle's Marine Corps Market Sector.
Two contracts for the advanced development of drugs to treat skin and lung injuries associated with acute radiation syndrome (ARS) were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). These contracts are the first by BARDA to address the skin and lung injuries that arise from acute exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation - the type of radiation that results from a nuclear blast.
BIO-key International Inc., a leader in finger-based biometric identification solutions & Lumidigm Inc., the multispectral imaging biometrics company, have partnered to provide a strong authentication solution for e-prescriptions at Genesis HealthCare System. Genesis is utilizing BIO-key's biometric identification software with Lumidigm fingerprint sensors so that staff members may quickly, conveniently, and securely establish identity when ordering, verifying, or administering medications as required by Ohio law.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled a new National Vaccine Plan to enhance the coordination of all aspects of federal vaccine and immunization activities. Its goal is to ensure that all Americans can access the preventive benefits of vaccines. The plan also addresses such issues as research and development, supply, financing, distribution, safety, global cooperation, and informed decision-making among consumers and health care providers.
Smiths Detection has announced that numerous local and national security agencies used the company's threat detection systems and training assistance to help maintain security at the recent NFL Super Bowl - in addition to other events and venues associated with the annual professional football championship game. Leading up to the event and on game day, teams of law enforcement and counterterrorism officials had a variety of Smiths Detection tools available, and used them, for air monitoring, entrance screening, and response operations related to any potential unknown chemical threat or biological substance detected.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting appropriations of $4.3 billion to protect and promote the public health as part of the President's fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget, which requests a 33 percent increase over the FDA's enacted budget for FY 2010. The FDA's 2012 budget proposes four critical initiatives and increases for: transforming food safety & nutrition; advancing medical countermeasures; protecting patients; and regulatory science & facilities.
Bureaucratic Abstractions vs. Private-Sector Certitudes - that is one of the more difficult problems, it says here, behind at least some of the "communications difficulties" between public and private-sector resilience professionals. Merging the two vocabularies would be a common-sense way to remove some current obstacles to achievement of the same goal.
The Target hit, the Tactics used, and the Technology involved - all provide a wealth of information that can be used by everyday citizens to find out the "real facts" behind a terrorist incident and/or other mass-casualty event. Also not to be ignored is the telling clue, noticed only by Sherlock Holmes, about the dog that did not bark.
Bruker Detection has announced the launch of its compact, fully automated, and fast toxin-identification system, called the pTD (portable Toxin Detector). The pTD system accepts liquid and solid samples and does not require any external sample preparation steps. Through the use of multiplexed proprietary lab chips, every sample is automatically checked simultaneously for five toxins.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new web portal providing important health and health care indicator data to support innovations in information technology. The Health Indicators Warehouse represents a vast collection of health and health care indicators along with new web 2.0 technologies to support automated data services through application programming interfaces (APIs).
The city of Fort Worth, Texas, purchased, configured, trained, and successfully deployed WebEOC emergency management software from ESi in 3½ months, just in time for the 2011 Super Bowl and an unexpected snow and ice storm in the days leading up to it. Fort Worth's EOC activation included participants from city agencies and county departments, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the American Red Cross, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has unveiled the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) $57.0 billion fiscal year 2012 budget request - prioritizing efforts to protect the Nation from terrorism and other threats while making an unprecedented commitment to fiscal discipline, including the identification of over $800 million in efficiency and administrative savings.
NPPD (National Protection and Programs Directorate) Under Secretary Rand Beers discusses the efforts by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure high-risk chemical facilities. DHS is eager, he said, to work with the Committee, Congress, and all levels of government and the private sector to achieve passage of legislation that permanently authorizes and appropriately matures the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.
"The new outdoor WV-SW395 dome camera gives end-users, designers, and integrators the ability to fashion a fully intelligent HD system with consistent design and functionality," said Bill Taylor, President of the Panasonic System Networks Company of America. "It's a high-efficiency product solution that complements the power of network-based video surveillance implementations."
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) have announced the creation of an annotated version of the B-1 visa - issued to foreign citizens visiting the United States for business purposes - that will make foreign maritime workers eligible to apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).
"The eXaminer XLB is the highest-performing in-line CT (computed tomography) EDS (explosives detection system) available and the only EU Standard 3 system with sufficient throughput for European Level 1 operation," said Thomas M. Ripp, president of L-3 Security & Detection Systems. "We continue to invest in the eXaminer platform to meet current and future EU standards."
"This is the new M50 mask to replace the [M40 gas mask]," said Sgt. Matthew Davis, the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear chief for Headquarters and Support Co., 2nd Bn., 7th Marines. "It has two filters instead of one [and] one single eye piece. Overall, it is a better mask; it...[makes it] easier to drink, though, [and] better to communicate through."
Despite facing some of the most deadly combat environments in the nation's history, the d"saved rate" of forward-deployed U.S. military units on the frequently shifting battleground in Pakistan and Afghanistan is also at a record high - thanks in large part to the medics/corpsmen, doctors, nurses, and CCATT-enriched aerovac units also serving on the front lines.
On one side of the scale is "probably less than one gram of anthrax." On the other side are an estimated six million doses of vaccine thrown away each year - as well as, quite possibly, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. It says here that the cost/benefit ratio is very much on the side of the terrorists.
Like the forward pass in football, "Resilience" was once a vague notion, theoretical concept, and interesting afterthought. In the past several years, though, it has become both the firm foundation for and operational imperative of a truly comprehensive preparedness plan. Here are some relevant comments from one of the nation's most knowledgeable experts on the subject.
Lumidigm has announced that Verimetrics has selected Lumidigm's Mercury & Venus fingerprint readers as its preferred biometric platforms for SmartProfile deployments in a wide range of environments including hospitals, emergency response vehicles, and retail stores. With Lumidigm sensors, Verimetrics' biometric single sign-on (SSO) solution succeeds in real-world conditions ranging from sub-zero temperatures to situations requiring the use of latex gloves.
"We are very proud to bring William Fletcher onto the ICF International staff. With more than 20 years in the IT field and his deep experience in the critical infrastructure and power industries, he will help ICF continue to deliver outstanding service and results for our clients," said Andy Robinson, senior vice president for ICF International.
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, and the 311 Synergy Group have announced release of the new multi-media DVD toolkit, "Integrating 311 into Disaster Response & Recovery." The kit is designed to assist local governments use their 311 or CRM (constituent relationship management) systems more effectively to share information with the public in times of emergency.
"The safety of the traveling public is our top priority and we will not negotiate on security," said Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole. "But morale and employee engagement cannot be separated from achieving superior security. If security officers vote to move forward with collective bargaining, this framework will ensure that TSA retains the capability and flexibility necessary to respond to evolving threats, and [will] continue improving employee engagement, performance, and professional development."
Although the major wrath of the winter storms has passed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to encourage all Americans to follow the instructions of state and local officials, and to listen to local radio and/or TV stations for updated emergency information. This year's storms serve as an important reminder to make sure that family preparedness plans and contacts are up to date and fully understood.
RescueSim is virtual training software that prepares emergency response teams for incidents in a realistic virtual environment without the cost, dangers, and difficulties encountered in real-life practical training. RescueSim is widely used by Fire & Rescue Services and leading industrial companies, including Shell and Dow Chemical, to improve the operational preparedness of their response crews.
The EMCAPS Model is a standalone software program developed to allow users to model disaster scenarios for drill planning and to use as an education resource. It also allows users to estimate casualties arising from biological, chemical, radiological, or explosive attacks. EMCAPS was a joint effort between, and funded in part by: the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness & Response; the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and the National Center for the Study of Preparedness & Catastrophic Event Response.
The principal challenges of securing the U.S.-Canadian border involve the coordination of multiple partners. The results of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) efforts to integrate border security among its components and across federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners are unclear. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was tasked to address the extent to which DHS has improved current conditions while also reporting on past conditions and the progress made in securing the northern border.
After-action reports are valuable both in establishing precisely what went wrong, and why - particularly if used to ensure that the same mistakes are not made a second time. They are even more valuable, though, if used by other political jurisdictions as lessons learned to upgrade their own preparations and advance-planning policies and procedures.
It is now well documented that members of the nation's armed forces who have been in combat later suffer from an extremely harmful aftereffect known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Many first responders face the same type of traumatic situations and display many of the same symptoms. What can/should be done about it? Your answers will help; please take the survey!
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin testing new software, TSA Administrator John Pistole announced, on its advanced imaging technology (AIT) machines, which enhance privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images and, instead: (a) auto-detect potential threat items; and (b) indicate their location on a generic outline of a person.