may 2012

Updates

Howard County, Maryland, Embraces New Technology for First Responders

Maryland's Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), a nationally accredited department, has announced its implementation of the CommandScope All Hazard Pre-Incident Plan program to help protect nearly 300,000 residents in 25 communities. CommandScope gives first responders access to critical pre-plan information, both on-site and en route, on their Mobile Data Computers (MDCs).

Preparedness

Integrated Capstone Event Expands Training for Responders

by Shannon Arledge -

Professional athletes focus first on personal training skills, but understand that team training is needed to win games - and championships. The Center for Domestic Preparedness uses that winning philosophy for their "Capstone" events, in which students from many professional disciplines join forces to address realistic scenarios that require their combined as well as individual skills.

Updates

NOAA Predicts a 'Near-Normal' 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season, announced representatives from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in Miami at its Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and home to the Hurricane Research Division.

Updates

FEMA Urges Preparedness for Hurricanes and Severe Weather

Hurricane Season begins June 1, 2012, FEMA is providing additional tools for federal, state, local, tribal & territorial officials to alert and warn the public about severe weather. Using the Commercial Mobile Alert System, or CMAS, which is a part of FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, this structure will be used to deliver Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to wireless carriers for distribution to the public.

Updates

CyberLock Secures Water Utilities

"CyberLock cylinders and padlocks perform extremely well in wet, corrosive environments; this allows our customers in the distribution industry to secure critical infrastructure at all times," says James McGowan, V.P. of Sales & Marketing at Videx. "And best of all, with the auditing features provided by both the lock and the key, our customers know who accessed what lock and when."

Reports

2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan

The 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan marks an important point in the growth and development of the U.S. Border Patrol. The principal theme of this plan is to use Information, Integration and Rapid Response to meet all threats - building upon an approach that puts the Border Patrol's greatest capabilities in place to combat the greatest risks.

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Updates

CBP Reminds Travelers What to 'Know Before You Go'

Summer is one of the busiest international travel times in the U.S. and with the start of the travel season this Memorial Day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is reminding travelers of some important tips. With increasing passenger volumes due to a nine percent increase in travel and tourism since February 2011, there are things returning U.S. citizens or residents, and international visitors can do to help speed their processing.

Preparedness

National Fire Academy Adds New Online Chemistry Course

The U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Academy (NFA) announces the availability of a new NFA Online course: Foundational Concepts of Chemistry (Q228), which provides students with fundamental knowledge to prepare for the more advanced Hazardous Materials curriculum courses.

Preparedness

The Public Health Challenge in Mass Evacuation and Shelter Care

by Craig Vanderwagen -

Part 3 of Dr. Vanderwagen's groundbreaking five-part series on the numerous - and extremely difficult - challenges involved in implementing the U.S. National Health Security Strategy. This white paper addresses challenges related to preparing for a mass evacuation, conducting such an evacuation, and fulfilling information needs within a shelter environment. Although specific to domestic events, many of the same approaches also have merit in an international environment.

Preparedness

Finding Beds in the Middle of a Disaster

by Beth McAteer -

One year ago, an EF5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, destroying 8,000 buildings, killing 160 citizens, and injuring almost a thousand. Here is the heroic story of how medical professionals and emergency responders in the area - with the help of local volunteers - used community-based planning to save lives, limit the physical damage, and transfer hospital patients and the "walking wounded" to alternate healthcare facilities.

Healthcare

A Healthcare Coalition's Support for Evacuating a Facility

by Craig DeAtley -

When a major tornado touches down - as happened one year ago in Joplin, Missouri - immediate evacuation of schools, hospitals, and other heavily populated buildings becomes mandatory. In addition to advance planning, risk assessments, extensive training, and mutual-aid partnerships, the National Capital Region took a giant step forward with the formation of a Coalition Partnership to cope with even Titanic-sized emergencies.

Updates

FLIR Systems Announces $17.9 Million Order From U.S. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)

FLIR Systems Inc. has announced that it has received a $17.9 million delivery order from the U.S. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) for its SeaFLIR® maritime imaging systems. FLIR's SeaFLIR® product line is currently deployed for such diverse missions as search and rescue, interdiction, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting applications. In addition, all variants of the SeaFLIR® are engineered, designed, and qualified for operation in the harshest maritime conditions.

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Receives FDA Approval for BioThrax Administered Intramuscularly in a Three-Dose Primary Series

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) to change the administration schedule of BioThrax® (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) to a three-dose primary series of intramuscular injections at 0, 1, and 6 months. The booster series consists of intramuscular injections at 12 and 18 months after initiation of the primary series, and at one-year intervals thereafter for those who remain at risk.

Updates

United States & Mexico Make Efforts to Strengthen U.S.-Mexican Bi-National Health

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Mexico Secretary of Health Salomón Chertorivski have announced a series of new steps to strengthen health security cooperation between the two countries. The two health secretaries signed a declaration formally adopting a shared set of technical guidelines that both countries will follow to respond to public health events and emergencies of mutual interest as they arise.

Updates

CyberLock Secures Seattle Public Utilities

The CyberLock system helps secure access to Seattle Public Utilities' 12,500-acre land that supplies water to 1.4 million people in the greater Seattle, Washington, area. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) uses the CyberLock system of electronic locks and programmable keys to track multiple personnel and control access to physical assets.

Updates

TSA Sets Cargo Screening Deadline for International Inbound Passenger Aircraft

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced it has set a deadline for passenger air carriers to conduct 100 percent cargo screening on international flights bound for the United States. Beginning 3 December 2012, all cargo shipments loaded on passenger aircraft must undergo screening for explosives, fulfilling a requirement of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act.

Updates

HHS Launches New Web-Based Tool to Track Performance of Nations Health Care System

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the launch of a new web-based tool that will make it easier for all Americans to monitor and measure how the nation's health care system is performing. The web-based tool, officially known as the Health System Measurement Project, will allow policymakers, providers, and the public at large to develop consistent data-driven views of changes in critical U.S. health system indicators.

Preparedness

Beyond Vaccines: Defeating Future Flu Viruses

by David Gibson -

Throughout history, invisible enemies such as plague, pandemic influenza, and other infectious diseases have posed a great threat to human life. Public- and private-sector agencies and organizations are diligently working together to prevent future pandemics before they start. The immediate goal is to protect the nation's warfighters, but the greatest beneficiaries may well be millions of civilians - both current and future generations.

Preparedness

Amateur Radio and the Healthcare Field

by Michael Corey -

Amateur Radio can be a lifesaving communications service that has supported emergency responders, law-enforcement teams, and the public during major flood events, power outages, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters both large and small. Like other "Guardian Angels," the nation's Amateur Radio operators may not always be seen, but they are almost always there - wherever "there" is - when they are most needed.

Resilience

Mass-Fatality Surge & Family Assistance

by Thomas P. Russo -

The South Carolina Region's healthcare coalition is bringing together various resources and knowledge to improve capabilities for mass-fatality incidents and subsequent family assistance operations. Through ongoing discussions, the coalition is able to address planning efforts - e.g., additional training and exercises, available morgue space, multi-jurisdiction cooperation, and various other aspects of fatality surge - that can be implemented and improved upon for years to come.

Updates

Ievo Fingerprint Reader with Lumidigm MSI Sensor Receives Raves from Benchmark

"This review verifies for many people what we already knew from field experience," asserts Lumidigm Vice President, Transaction Systems Bill Spence. "Now, independent testing confirms the superior fingerprint reading capabilities that Lumidigm technology brings to any application. Customers expect better performance now and Lumidigm is providing it."

Reports

Considerations for United States - Canada Border Traffic Disruption Management Guide

This guide, developed jointly by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Public Safety Canada (PS), fulfills one of the first commitments under the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan - a shared approach to security in which both countries are working together to address threats within, at, and away from U.S. borders, while expediting lawful trade and travel.

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Updates

CBP Announces Two New Centers of Excellence and Expertise

"I am proud to announce the expansion of this initiative. These centers bring all of CBP's trade expertise to bear on a single industry in one strategic location," said U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar. "They provide tailored support to increase uniformity across ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide, and strengthen critical agency knowledge of key industry practices."

Updates

Samsung iPolis Line of Outdoor Cameras with IR Illuminators Capture Hi-Res Images in Total Darkness

Samsung Techwin America, a leading supplier of advanced video surveillance solutions, has announced the newest additions to its iPolis family of IP and network products. This new line of megapixel infrared (IR) cameras for outdoor use capture high-resolution images in complete darkness. Available in domes and bullet cameras, the new models are IP66 rated for use in severe or varying weather conditions.

Updates

United States and Canada Announce Plans to Increase NEXUS Benefits

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have announced they are delivering on key commitments under the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness - increasing benefits to NEXUS members, streamlining the membership renewal process, and launching a plan to increase NEXUS membership.

Updates

DeltaTRAK Wins Best New Food Safety Solution Award at United Fresh

DeltaTRAK®, a leading innovator of cold-chain environmental monitoring and food safety management solutions, has announced that its FlashCheck Real-Time Bacterial Enzyme Detection Kit has won United Fresh's 2012 Best New Food Safety Award. The FlashCheck Real-Time Bacterial Enzyme Detection kits are used for identifying bacteria in the field and provide an accurate, quick, and inexpensive way to screen for dangerous levels of bacterial contamination.

Healthcare

Taxis for the Sick

by Joseph Cahill -

Thanks to the increased focus on homeland security in recent years, most Americans now understand the need to "triage" victims of a mass-casualty incident. Less understood is the triage approach as it applies to taking patients from an incident site to a healthcare facility: (a) immediate transport, with medical care en route; (b) less urgent transport, with minimal medical care needed en route; and (c) non-urgent transport, emergency vehicles not necessary.

Healthcare

The 2012 PHP Summit: Sustaining Preparedness

by Jack Herrmann -

A "big-screen" presentation, an all-star panel discussion, the Joplin tornado, preparedness gains - and the many gaps that still remain - were among the major highlights of the 2012 Public Health Preparedness Summit in Anaheim. Numerous workshops and town hall meetings were also on the hugely important schedule. Plan early to attend the 2013 Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.

Commentary

FINAL REPORT: Preparedness Goals Associated with the Nuclear Threat

by Vayl Oxford -

In 2011, the world witnessed the devastating effects after Mother Nature triggered an accidental "nuclear attack" on Japan. That incident offers a glimpse of what could happen following a deliberate nuclear attack on U.S. soil. On 2 May 2012, Vayl Oxford led a distinguished panel of experts in New York to discuss a very real threat that faces the nation. View results from the latest DomPrep survey and the final report that spurred this discussion as well as ongoing dialogue among attendees.

Updates

CBP, EU Sign C-TPAT Mutual Recognition Decision

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency and the European Union (EU) have signed a Mutual Recognition Decision linking CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program and the EU's Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program. C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve the overall international supply chain as well as U.S. border security.

Updates

Risk-Based Security Initiative Reaches Key Milestone

"The continued growth and passenger participation in the TSA PreCheck initiative affirms our commitment to the evolution of our intelligence-driven, risk-based approach," said TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Administrator John S. Pistole. "This initiative is a testament to the outstanding collaborative work between TSA, CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection], airports, airlines, and the traveling public."

Preparedness

Mass Violence: Planning & Response Considerations Course

This is one-day course is designed to help prepare first responders and receivers to assess, plan for, prepare for, and handle critical incidents such as workplace violence attacks, school shootings, mass shootings, domestic violence spill-over attacks, extremist threats and other incidents are occurring with alarming frequency.

Updates

Administration Takes Another Step Toward Strengthening Resilience For All Hazards

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners have released the 2012 National Preparedness Report (NPR) identifying the significant progress the nation has made in improving its prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery capabilities. Overall, the Report found that the nation has enhanced and upgraded its collective preparedness to cope not only with external threats but also those resulting from both natural and technological hazards.

Updates

WiFi-SAM Wireless Adapter for Isotope Identifier Simplifies PRD Disposition

Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation is introducing WiFi-SAM, a WiFi kit for the SAM Isotope Identifier (RIID). The wireless adapter provides a continuous data feed over local wifi networks to a network administrator or management team. Isotope Identifiers are often used by first responders or Hazmat technicians who may desire guidance from Radiation Safety or Health Physics management.

Healthcare

If & When Needed: The Building of Pandemic Barriers

by Patrick Rose & Katherine Duncan -

Infectious diseases such as influenza are invisible, fast-moving, and often extremely lethal. The best and sometimes only way to kill them is to detect them early, stop them before they start to spread, isolate them at the first sign of an outbreak, and have at hand the trained medical professionals, the medicines, and the healthcare facilities needed to treat the first victims before the infection spreads.

Healthcare

Healthcare Reform: Major Effects on Hospital Preparedness

by Theodore (Ted) Tully -

No matter what the Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of the healthcare reform act, U.S. hospitals must prepare now for major changes in their planning, everyday operations, and both budgetary and personnel resources. Many of those changes may be costly. Most will be time-consuming and/or difficult to implement. But in the long term almost all will benefit - the hospitals themselves, their medical staff, and -most important of all - their patients.

Updates

The U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement

U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America. The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) is a legally binding executive agreement, undertaken between two sovereign nations. The goal in negotiating such an agreement has been to define with the Afghan Government what is on the other side of Transition and the completed drawdown of U.S. forces.

Resilience

A New Standard of Care for Crisis Incidents

by Raphael M. Barishansky -

Most medium-sized or larger U.S. hospitals can handle multi-casualty incidents efficiently and effectively under normal circumstances. However, during major incidents such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or terrorist attacks, those same hospitals often require additional resources. Through interagency cooperation, new standards of care have been published to help better prepare for future crisis response situations.

Reports

Commissioning Security Systems for Drinking Water Utilities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a new report on the "Water Security Initiative: Commissioning Security Systems for Drinking Water Utilities." This short report discusses the commissioning of security systems and provides a step-wise commissioning process and the forms required for use by drinking water utilities. The "Commissioning" report focuses on the testing of both new and upgraded systems to verify that their operations and performance meet contract document requirements.

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Updates

First Line Technology Awarded Contract for JSEW From The Department of the Army

First Line Technology LLC has awarded a contract for Joint Sensitive Equipment Wipes (JSEW) from the Army Contracting Command - Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) Contracting Center, Natick Contracting Division (Natick, Mass.) in support of the Joint Project Manager for Protection (JMP P) and the Decontamination Family of Systems (DFoS) Program. The JSEWs from First Line contain FiberTect, an activated carbon wipe used for dry decontamination.

Preparedness

FY 2012 AFG Grant Workshops - Now Available

During the month of May, the Regional Fire Program Specialists in the 10 FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) regions will host workshops on the FY (fiscal year) 2012 AFG (Assistance to Firefighters Grant) Program and upcoming application period. The workshops will help potential applicants understand the purpose of the FY 2012 AFG Program, changes since FY 2011, funding priorities, award evaluation criteria, and a brief description of other AFG funding opportunities.