june 2015

Updates

BluePoint Introduces Rapid Emergency Response System to Speed Medical Response Times for Improved Patient Outcomes and Greater Savings for Medical Facilities

BluePoint Alert announced BluePoint Medical, a new pull-station system designed to directly alert medical response teams when people are requiring emergency medical attention. BluePoint complements physical security systems and addresses the growing need to speed response times when an organization's most valuable asset - its people - are in harm's way.

Preparedness

What Baltimore's Recent Civil Unrest Can Teach Emergency Planners

by Anthony S. Mangeri -

When civil unrest erupts, emergency planners must look beyond the riot itself to understand how the riots culminated, who the key antagonists were, and what can be done to improve planning and response for future outbreaks of violence. In Baltimore, officials are talking in order to accomplish all three of these goals.

Updates

HHS Launches GIS-Based Tool for Health Disaster Readiness

The HHS emPOWER Map, an interactive online tool, was recently launched to aid community health agencies and emergency management officials in disaster preparedness as they plan ahead to meet the emergency needs of community residents who rely on electrically powered medical and assistive equipment to live independently at home.

Reports

Examination of Legal Language Authorizing Responses to Incidents Involving Contamination with Radioactive Material II

This report is an assessment of state and local laws that authorize restriction of movement and decontamination of people during a radiological event. The assessment is the result of a partnership between CDC's Public Health Law Program, CDC's National Center Environmental Health, Radiation Studies Branch, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

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Updates

Smiths Detection Inc. Announces $27m Order From U.S. Army for Mobile Medical Shelters

Smiths Detection Inc. (SDI) announces it has received a$27.7 million follow-on production order from the Department of the Army for Chemical Biological Protective Shelters (CBPS). SDI's shelters are designed to military specifications, are highly resistant to chemical and biological threats, and can be used in natural disasters and other emergencies, such as a potential terrorist attack response.

Updates

Research Roadmap Traces the Path to 'Smart' Fire Fighting

When responding to the more than 1.2 million blazes reported annually, the nation's firefighters often lack critical information that could be vitally important in mounting the most effective and safest attack. That information gap could be erased with today's communication, computing, sensor and networking technologies according to a new Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting.

Reports

U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Strategy

The Coast Guard released their cyber strategy to ensure the prosperity and security of the nation's Maritime Transportation System. The Coast Guard's cyber strategy is a comprehensive framework that identifies three strategic priorities critical to the service's effort defending the maritime domain: defend cyberspace, enable operations, and protect critical infrastructure.

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Updates

Ansell Wins UK Crown Commercial Service Framework Agreement for the Purchase of TRELLCHEM VPS CV-ET Chemical Protective Suits

Ansell announces that a four-year framework agreement has been established between the UK Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and Ansell for the purchase of TRELLCHEM VPS CV-ET gastight suit. The framework agreement will be available to the UK emergency services and other public sector organizations.

Updates

Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and Partners Unveil New System for Large-Scale Chemical Agent Testing

A new capability for material, component and large-scale, system-level chemical agent testing was unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 27th at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC). The Non-Traditional Agent Defense Test System (NTADTS) is designed to provide a safe and specialized testing capability for diverse chemical defense items in support of the Warfighters and nation.

Preparedness

Baltimore Unrest - Police Lessons Learned on the Fly

by Melissa Hyatt -

In any emergency or disaster incident, some tasks will be done well and others will be the basis for lessons to learn and changes to implement after the smoke clears. The Baltimore riot is one example. Law enforcement officers quickly learned that, even with multidiscipline planning and training for special events, they were not fully prepared for the unplanned events that unfolded.

Preparedness

Riots - When Civil Rights Protests Lose Civility

by Robert Maloney -

From the Occupy movement to burning cars and looting pharmacies, Baltimore, Maryland, has seen its share of peaceful (and not-so-peaceful) protests. In light of recent publicized civil unrest, cities across the country continue to seek a balance between protecting First Amendment rights and protecting the communities and residents for which these rights were intended.

Updates

EPA Selects Three Universities to Help Find New Uses for Toxics Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its selection of academic partners for the 2015 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) University Challenge, a project designed to increase public awareness and use of data on industrial releases of toxic chemicals in communities. This year's academic partners are the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Mercyhurst University.

Updates

FEMA Launches Innovative National Volunteer Program to Enhance Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts Nationwide

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) signed Memoranda of Understanding with seven technology organizations to provide state, local, tribal and territorial governments with technology resources during a disaster to expedite response and recovery.

Updates

HHS Selects Nine Regional Ebola and Other Special Pathogen Treatment Centers

To further strengthen the nation's infectious disease response capability, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has selected nine health departments and associated partner hospitals to become special regional treatment centers for patients with Ebola or other severe, highly infectious diseases.

Reports

Disaster Behavioral Health Interventions Inventory

This is an inventory rather than a review of current research in the field of disaster behavioral health (DBH). The inventory primarily comprises disaster-specific interventions, although several may also be used to assist people who are suffering with distress or disorders associated with other types of traumatic events.

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Updates

HHS Pursues Fast, Easy Test to Detect Ebola Virus Infections

To assist doctors in diagnosing Ebola virus disease quickly, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will pursue development of an Ebola virus diagnostic test for use in a doctors office, hospital, clinic, or field setting that will provide results within 20 minutes.

Updates

FEMA Launches New Data Visualization Tool

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a new data visualization tool that enables users to see when and where disaster declarations have occurred across the country. As hurricane season kicks off, the tool helps provide important information about the history of hurricanes and other disasters in communities and what residents can do to prepare.

Preparedness

The History & Reality of the National Guard

by Aaron Sean Poynton -

The Maryland National Guard was recently activated to quell the riot-induced violence in Baltimore. The National Guard's roles, responsibilities, powers, and chain of command differ significantly from other military components in that they provide military services to support overwhelmed civil authorities under the command and control of the state governor.

Preparedness

Serving the Underserved - No Matter What

by Jayna Powell -

For underserved communities, every day is difficult. However, during a civil disturbance, these difficulties multiply  especially in times of civil unrest, when volunteers may be too afraid to work. In Baltimore, the solution to fill the volunteer gap came from social media use and a mobile app used by the mayors offices.

Commentary

Leadership: Building Better Response Efforts in the Future

by Marc A. DeSimone Sr. -

When fate throws a "sucker punch," one will do whatever it is habit to do, for all are creatures of habit. During the recent civil unrest in Baltimore, good leaders rose to the task to restore order to the city. However, these leaders are not always the ones in the spotlight or on the evening news.

Reports

Congressional Primer on Responding to Major Disasters and Emergencies

This report provides information that can aid policy makers as they navigate through the many levels of responsibility, and numerous policy pressure points, by having an understanding of the laws and administrative policies governing the disaster response and recovery process. The report also reviews the legislative framework that exists for providing federal assistance during disasters.

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Updates

USAID Announces Groundbreaking Online Training for Global Health Workforce

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and partners from the public and private sector announced a new comprehensive online library of resources for training health workers around the globe. This is the first-ever resource that is freely available and accessible through Internet-enabled mobile devices.

Updates

DHS Selects University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for Critical Infrastructure Resilience Center of Excellence

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate announced the selection of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the lead institution to establish a new Critical Infrastructure Resilience Center of Excellence. The center helps the United States address challenges to strengthen the resilience of the nation's critical infrastructures.

Updates

Additional Criteria Must Be Met Before Emergency Use of Vaccine for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Can Be Approved

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) evaluated the efficacy of current vaccine options for highly pathogenic avian influenza. In addition to economic impacts of vaccination, USDA has determined that, as it currently stands, additional criteria must be met before a vaccine can be approved for emergency use.

Reports

First Responder Guidance for Improving Survivability in Improvised Explosive Device and/or Active Shooter Incidents

Based on best practices and lessons learned, this report focuses on the medical response to improvised explosive devices and/or active shooter incidents with recommendations for hemorrhage control, protective equipment (which includes ballistic vests, helmets, and eyewear), and response and incident management.

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Updates

NIST Develops First 'Roadmap' for Public Safety Communications Research

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the first "roadmap" for the next 20 years of research needed to establish seamless, broadband public safety communications networks. The new roadmap focuses on location-based services to improve situational awareness for police, firefighters, emergency medical services, and other first responders.

Preparedness

How to Change Response Tactics in Times of Civil Unrest

by Michael E. Cox Jr. -

Unlike responses to hurricanes, floods, or other natural hazards, civil disturbances are more likely to place emergency responders in harm's way as the situation rapidly and unpredictably changes. To avoid becoming a target for angry crowds with projectiles and gunfire, personnel within the area of active fighting or unrest must be able to make decisions and triage incidents without hesitation.

Preparedness

Promoting Positive Policing Approaches in Communities of Color

by James "Chip" Coldren Jr. & Rachel Mathieu -

The recent civil unrest in Baltimore, Maryland, highlights a not-so-new divide between law enforcement and the communities they serve. CNA Corporation has spent years talking with police officers from more than 50 police agencies to find ways to build mutual trust and respect between these two groups. Its findings are now available.

Reports

Draft Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance

The goal of this plan is to ensure continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Five strategic objectives are outlined to reach this goal: awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance; knowledge through surveillance and research; reduction of incidents; use of antimicrobial agents; and sustainable investment in countering antimicrobial resistance.

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Updates

New Chip Makes Testing for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Faster, Easier

A new diagnostic chip reduces testing time from days to one hour, allowing doctors to pick the right antibiotic the first time. Infectious bacteria or superbugs that do not respond to antibiotics kill an estimated 23,000 people in the United States each year. This device could transform a doctor's ability to treat infections  and prevent a routine hospital stay from turning into a nightmare.

Updates

DHS and USDA Break Ground for National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) broke ground to officially begin construction of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) main laboratory structure in Manhattan, Kansas. The $1.25 billion NBAF will be a 570,000 sq. ft. biocontainment facility for studying diseases that threaten animal agriculture and public health.

Reports

Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers in New York and New Jersey During Superstorm Sandy

Superstorm Sandy resulted in 72 fatalities, and damage estimates totaled nearly $50 billion in the United States, with New York and New Jersey sustaining the most damage. In response, the Department of Health and Human Services deployed its network of volunteers, the Medical Reserve Corps. This report shows the challenges and successes associated with their response.

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Updates

NNSA Conducts Experiment to Improve U.S. Ability to Detect Foreign Nuclear Explosions

A team led by National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) successfully conducted the fourth in a series of experiments designed to improve the nation's ability to detect underground nuclear explosions. The Source Physics Experiment (SPE-4 Prime) is a fundamental step forward in the effort to improve arms control verification and ensure compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Updates

DHS S&T Selects University of Houston as Center of Excellence for Borders, Trade and Immigration Research

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the selection of the University of Houston as the lead institution for a new DHS Center of Excellence for Borders, Trade, and Immigration Research. S&T will provide the Center for Borders, Trade, and Immigration Research with an initial $3.4 million grant for its first operating year.

Updates

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Adds Crisis Management and Cybersecurity Specialties to Master of Laws Program

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law has added two specialties, crisis management and cybersecurity, to its growing Master of Laws program. Students have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on, legal policy planning skills by working with top crisis responders and cybersecurity clients on real-world applications through the Center for Health and Homeland Security.

Reports

Operational Lessons Learned in Disaster Response

This report identifies gaps and needs in first responder training and resources and presents solutions that serve to better prepare local-level fire services for all-hazard events and to interact with federal resources. The disasters studied were weather-related events that required responding firefighters to assume duties for which they were unprepared or for situations they never anticipated.

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Updates

DoD Announces Comprehensive Review of DoD Laboratory Procedures, Processes, and Protocols Associated With Inactivating Spore-Forming Anthrax

Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work ordered a comprehensive review of Department of Defense (DoD) laboratory procedures, processes, and protocols associated with inactivating spore-forming anthrax. This review was ordered due to the inadvertent shipments of inactivated samples containing small numbers of live anthrax to several laboratories.

Preparedness

Civil Disturbance Resilience-Planning, Technology & Partnerships

by Vincent B. Davis -

A peaceful protest can quickly turn to violence, as was seen recently in Ferguson, Missouri, and in Baltimore, Maryland. One industry-leading company applied lessons learned from its previous experiences with civil unrest to ensure the safety of its personnel and promote resilience within the thousands of communities it serves.

Updates

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Awards Contract to One Resonance Sensors for Evaluation of Checkpoint Security Electronics Scanner

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has signed an agreement with One Resonance Sensors, LLC to evaluate the company's MobiLab® ES checkpoint security scanner, which detects explosives in electronic devices. The agreement funds the evaluation of the scanner at a number of government facilities in the United States and Europe.

Reports

Selected Issues in Homeland Security Policy for the 114th Congress

This report outlines an array of homeland security issues that may come before the 114th Congress. The report divides the specific issues into four broad categories: counterterrorism and security management; border security and trade; disaster preparedness, response, and recovery; and DHS management issues.

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Updates

University of Maryland School of Medicine Research Leads to FDA Approval of First Drug to Treat Radiation Sickness

As a result of research performed by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a drug to treat the deleterious effects of radiation exposure following a nuclear incident. The drug, Neupogen, is the first ever approved for the treatment of acute radiation injury.