may 2014

Updates

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Action to Combat Increased Risk of Forest Fire

Agriculture Secretary Thomas "Tom" Vilsack recently announced an action to help 94 national forest areas in 35 states address insect and disease threats that weaken forests and increase the risk of forest fires.

Updates

Toledo Fire Department Purchases RescueSim Incident Response Training Simulator

To further enhance its training courses and allow in-depth training for any thinkable incident, the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department has purchased and implemented the RescueSim virtual incident-command training platform.

Updates

Study Validates Air Sampling Techniques to Fight Bioterrorism

A Saint Louis University researcher found that air and surface sampling techniques currently used by the U.S. government are effective in fighting bioterrorism and potentially saving lives.

Updates

Readout of Secretary Johnson's Remarks at the National Homeland Security Conference

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson delivered keynote remarks at the National Homeland Security Association's 2014 National Homeland Security Conference in Philadelphia. He highlighted the Department of Homeland Security's partnerships with state and local governments, as well as first responders, to strengthen safety and enhance security.

Updates

CDC Concludes Indiana MERS Patient Did Not Spread Virus to Illinois Business Associate

After completing additional and more definitive laboratory tests, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have concluded that an Indiana MERS patient did not spread the virus to an Illinois associate during a business meeting they had before the patient became ill and was hospitalized.

Preparedness

The Sewol Ferry Disaster - Cultural Considerations

by Julie Sorrell -

Culture plays a key role in how communities plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters. In South Korea, the cultural behaviors surrounding training, regulations, and obedience all may have played a role in the number of people who died when the Sewol ferry sunk on 16 April 2014.

Updates

Federal Agencies Sign MOU to Leverage Expertise During Foodborne Outbreak Investigations

The U.S. Department of Agricultures Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will provide a more comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to address foodborne health hazards associated with meat, poultry and processed egg products.

Reports

USDA Annual Report on Technology Transfer FY2013

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a new report on scientific breakthroughs discovered by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers that led to new patents and inventions with the potential for commercial application and potential economic growth.

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Updates

Assessing Persistent & Emerging Cyber Threats to the U.S. Homeland

The written testimony of National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) National Cybersecurity Communications Integration Center Director Larry Zelvin for a House Committee on Homeland Security, Joint Subcommittee hearing, highlighting how the department is helping secure cyber infrastructure and discusses examples of cybersecurity incidents have been prevented and responded to.

Updates

Environics USA Loans 14 ChemPro100i's to Massachusetts HazMat Teams

The ChemPro100i is a Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) detector that can help to detect and mitigate potential terrorist events using both CWAs and Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs). Environics USA loaned 14 units to Massachusetts Hazmat for the Boston Marathon.

Healthcare

Critical Incident Stress Management & Peer Support

by Tania Glenn -

Survivors, responders, and the public are all affected by natural and manmade disasters. Peers supporting peers is the concept behind critical incident stress management. Because each person handles stress differently, personal and organizational resilience may require building a support structure with others who shared the same experience.

Commentary

Airport Security - Beyond the Perimeter

by Andrew Saxton -

Although the primary objective of a security system is to prevent crimes, some technologies provide limited information only after a security breach occurs. Information gaps can occur when detection and identification are limited to a specific moment in time. The solution is a layered approach using radar, thermal imaging, and other technologies.

Commentary

Mexican & U.S. Aviation Security

by Clay W. Biles -

The airport security environment, especially in the United States, has changed significantly since 9/11. Technological advances have helped raise the standards at security checkpoints around the world, but technology is not infallible. Maintaining a high standard of security requires a balance between technology and human intelligence.

Updates

PositiveID Corporation Signs Space Act Agreement With NASA

PositiveID Corporation, a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, announced that it has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA's Ames Research Center.

Updates

U.S. and EU Progress in Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the European Commission recently released the first progress report of the Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR). The report renews the commitment of U.S. and European Union (EU) health authorities to pursue specific goals in their joint battle against antimicrobial resistance.

Updates

MSA's TriGas Monitoring System

The TriGas Monitoring System typically monitors for oxygen, hydrogen sulfide and combustible gases (methane or petroleum vapors) and is specifically designed for optimum performance within high-moisture environments.

Updates

Charting a Path Forward for the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards Program

The written testimony of National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Under Secretary Suzanne Spaulding and NPPD Office of Infrastructure Protection's, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division Director David Wulf addressing the regulation of high-risk chemical facilities under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards.

Preparedness

Securing Airports - Both Inside & Outside

by Richard Schoeberl -

Deficiencies in the current U.S. security efforts at airports have raised various concerns. Examining past breaches in security and defining the roles of law enforcement agencies are critical security steps. However, passengers also must be prepared to sacrifice some level of convenience to ensure safer and more secure airports and air travel.

Reports

FDASIA Health IT Report

The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) has created the proposed Health Information Technology (IT) report and seeks public comment on whether the focus areas identified are appropriate, and whether the proposed next steps will lead to an environment that protects patient safety, promotes innovation, and avoids regulatory duplication.

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Resilience

Maryland - A State of Good Repair

by Bernadette Bridges -

The condition of the nation's transit infrastructure is a challenging issue that requires much attention. To address the safety and security concerns, safety professionals are taking a more active role during the plan, design, and build phases of modern transit systems and vehicles. Maryland is one state that is making an effort to maintain its transit systems in a "state of good repair."

Reports

DOE Issues WIPP Radiological Release Investigation Report

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environmental Management recently released the initial accident investigation report related to the radiological release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico. This report includes the initial investigation focused on the release, the related exposure to the workers, and the actions taken in response.

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Updates

New Tool Makes Accurate 3D Laser Scanning Easy for Forensic Investigators

Leica Geosystems has released the Leica ScanStation PS15, the latest innovation for public safety professionals. At the push of a button, the Leica ScanStation PS15 captures the entire scene within minutes and creates highly detailed scans with overlaid images of the real 3D world.

Updates

EPA Adds Seven Hazardous Waste Sites to Superfund

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added seven hazardous waste sites that pose risks to people's health and the environment to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites. Superfund, a federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country to protect people's health and the environment.

Reports

2013 Annual Working Group Report

The leadership of both the Multi-State Fleet Response Working Group and its partners has released its first annual report for calendar year 2013. This report represents a culmination of activities and achievements of the working group since its formation in January 2013 as well as its strategic objectives for 2014.

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Updates

Cubic Announces the Completion of Livestock Disaster Preparedness Program

Cubic Corporation has announced the successful completion of the Regional Resiliency Assessment Program in the Texas Panhandle. The program serves as a means to strengthen the preparedness and resiliency of the cattle feed and livestock industry against natural and manmade threats.

Updates

U.S. DOT Takes New Emergency Actions as Part of Comprehensive Strategy to Keep Crude Oil Shipments Safe

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an Emergency Order requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) about the operation of these trains through their states.

Updates

LEID Products Introduces the BACS System for Airport Asset Management

Law Enforcement Intelligent Devices (LEID) Products is now offering the BACS Asset Management System to the airline industry. Intelligent technology makes airports more efficient and secure. The BACS System's next generation technology powers security, control, safety, accountability, and reliability in reporting.

Reports

National Climate Assessment Report

The National Climate Assessment Report takes the most comprehensive look at climate change impacts in the United States. This report integrates four years of work by hundreds of experts from government, academia, corporations, and public-interest organizations.

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Updates

Sacred Heart University - Combat Existing Cyberattacks; Defend Against Future Threats

Sacred Heart University's cybersecurity graduate program provides the framework to address evolving security attacks faced by people, companies, and government. This dynamic program is led by industry veterans to proactively address ever-changing security threats and infiltration techniques, and to share the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in this fast-growing field.

Preparedness

The Team Spirit of Emergency Management

by Stephen Grainer -

In the area of emergency management, teams and organizations strive to mitigate the outcome of any potential or actual emergency. Such intervention, though, requires trust in team members to perform their tasks when needed. As with any successful football team or racecar pit crew, emergency managers also must devote the time to train together as a team.

Resilience

Specialized Training for Rail Incidents

by James Metzger -

First responder agencies must prepare for a variety of incidents that may occur within or near their jurisdictions. Even when an incident involving the movement of large numbers of people - for example, passenger rail transit - does not result in a mass-casualty scenario, many special considerations must be made to protect those who respond.

Updates

Cost of Fighting Wildfires in 2014 Projected to Be Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Over Amount Available

According to a congressionally mandated report issued 1 May 2014, the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior are projected to spend over $470 million more than is available to fight wildfires this season. Over the past three decades, fire season lengths have increased by 60-80 days and annual acreages burned have more than doubled to over 7 million acres annually.

Updates

Successful Completion of a Comprehensive Laboratory Validation of the Tetracore BioThreat Alert Lateral Flow Assay

Tetracore Inc. has announced the successful completion of an extensive study of its Ricin BioThreat Alert Lateral Flow Assay (LFA) and BioThreat Alert LFA Reader by the Department of Homeland Security. The affordable Tetracore Ricin BioThreat Alert LFA, designed to deliver quick and accurate results in the field or laboratory, is easy to use and store.

Updates

Harvard School of Public Health - Radiological Emergency Planning: Terrorism, Security & Communication

This Radiological Emergency Preparedness program uses practical tools to prepare participants from all sectors to plan for and respond to radiological events at the state, local, and individual facility level. Participants examine criteria and requirements for creating an effective emergency plan, communicating with the media and public during crises, and managing casualties.

Updates

USDA Announces Additional Support for Small and Midsized Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas Vilsack has announced additional support and resources for small and midsized farmers and ranchers in the United States. This year's second major USDA package builds on the first and will further increase research awards, technical assistance, and marketing support.

Updates

Smiths Detection Announces $20 Million Chemical Detector Order From the U.S. Army

Smiths Detection recently announced a $20 million follow-on production order from the U.S. Army under the Department of Defense's Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) program. The JCAD is based on Smiths Lightweight Chemical Detector product line of advanced, easy-to-use, and lightweight devices.

Updates

CDC Disease Detectives Using New Software Tool in Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak

The new tool developed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an Epi Info viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) application, speeds up one of the most difficult parts of disease detection: finding everyone who was exposed to, and possibly infected by, someone with a contagious disease. This data is crucial for developing outbreak countermeasures.

Updates

George Mason University - 2014 Summer Program in International Security

Registration for George Mason University's 2014 Summer Program in International Security is now open. The program is divided into three weeks, each of which focuses on a different topic in the dynamic world of international security. This year's focus areas are: terrorism; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons; and global health security.

Updates

North Shore-LIJ Deploys Mutualink's Emergency Communications Platform in 15 Hospitals

North Shore-LIJ has deployed Mutualink's secure communications platform in 15 hospitals and one mobile unit. This Interoperable Response and Preparedness Platform enables hospitals to share voice, video, data, and text communications in real time within the health system, as well as with police, fire, emergency medical services, and emergency operations centers.

Updates

WHO's First Global Report on Antibiotic Resistance Reveals Threat to Public Health

A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) - its first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally - reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future. It is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country.