november 2009

Updates

HHS Announces Plans to Make $80 Million Available to Support Health IT Workforce

Dr. David Blumenthal, the Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (IT), has announced plans to make available $80 million in grants to help develop and strengthen the nation's health information technology workforce. The grants being made available include $70 million for community college training programs and $10 million to develop educational materials to support such programs.

Updates

NVFC Offers Resources to Help Departments Apply for AFG & SAFER Grants

The NVFC (National Volunteer Fire Council) has available an online AFG (Assistance to Firefighters Grant) & SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) Grant Narrative Resource Center to help volunteer fire departments write successful narratives as part of the grant-application process.

Updates

Thales's Liberty Multiband Radio Proves Trunking Interoperability

The purpose of the program is to provide emergency-response agencies with evidence that the communications equipment they are purchasing meets P25 standards for performance, conformance, and interoperability - and also offers demonstrated evidence of a product's compliance with specific requirements.

Healthcare

Expanding the Definition of Public Health

by Raphael Barishansky -

The field of medicine has come a long, long way from the early 20th-century tradition of family doctors, homespun remedies, and much lower life expectancies. People are healthier today, and usually live longer lives, but the technology of terror also has grown exponentially, creating a need for a new public-health priority: emergency preparedness.

Commentary

Iran's Long Reach Into the U.S. Homeland

by Neil C. Livingstone -

Despite U.S. moves to improve nation-to-nation relations with Iran, Tehran continues to support groups and organizations obviously unfriendly to the United States - the Alavi Foundation, for example. It is clear, moreover, that the anti-U.S. virus is spreading, with Somalia and other countries joining the international junta facing the free democracies of the world.

Healthcare

DMORT Teams and Their Role in MFIs

by Frank P. Saul -

Recent-year increases in the number of mass-fatality incidents, combined with the increasingly bizarre nature of some of those incidents, have led to the formation of specially trained medico-legal teams to deal with the on-site aftermath. This is their story, which is more complicated, and sophisticated, than anything seen on national television.

Updates

DRASH Shelters Used as Drive-Thru H1N1 Vaccination Clinic

The Madison County Health Department in Indiana has reconfigured two DRASH Shelters for use as part of a drive-thru H1N1 vaccination clinic. Once there, patients drive through three separate stations to complete the paperwork needed and receive their vaccinations.

Updates

Discover the E2M Portable GC/MS From Bruker Detection

The E2M is a transportable, compact, and rugged GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) system designed to provide fast, reliable on-site identification and quantification of organic substances in soil, air, and water - and from surfaces. It can be mounted on vehicles and operated while a vehicle is underway.

Updates

Influenza Roundtable Online Videos on CDC-TV

Four "Influenza Roundtable" videos were filmed, featuring Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of the Epidemiology & Prevention Branch in CDC's (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) Influenza Division. These videos provide easy-to-understand answers for the public as well as important public-health recommendations and the "action steps" needed to protect their own health and the health of their families.

Updates

Delhi Metro Rail Company Invests in Customer Safety With X-Ray Scanning Systems From Rapiscan Systems

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has purchased multiple Rapiscan Systems 620XR checkpoint X-ray baggage scanners and Rapiscan Metor Walk-Through Metal Detectors to deploy in underground metro-corridor and surface-rail corridor stations throughout Delhi. This contract is the latest in a series of awards that Rapiscan has received to provide protection for mass-transit facilities and other critical infrastructure.

Updates

Statements by DHS Secretary Napolitano & HUD Secretary Donovan on Disaster Recovery Stakeholder Forum

The Long Term Disaster Recovery Working Group - co-chaired by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan - is a high-level strategic initiative that will recommend future improvements and help inform and develop a National Disaster Recovery Framework to provide the operational guidance needed for recovery organizations.

Updates

CDC Kicks Off National Travelers' Health Public Awareness Campaign

Every holiday season, millions of Americans travel through the nation's airports, seaports, and train stations to spend time with loved ones. To help travelers avoid the flu this holiday season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched its largest ever public awareness campaign about staying healthy while traveling.

Updates

Arecont Vision Appoints Three Additional U.S. Representative Firms

Arecont Vision, provider of the industry's broadest line of IP-based megapixel video cameras, announced the addition of three new U.S. manufacturer's representative organizations; ProSource, RW Sales, and Southeast Security Products.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Meets With Private-Sector Critical Infrastructure Leaders, Launches New Web Site

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano hosted the first in a series of roundtable meetings with private-sector leaders to discuss critical infrastructure security; she also unveiled a new Web site designed to inform the public about the Department's critical infrastructure protection, readiness, and resiliency efforts.

Reports

Combatting Nuclear Smuggling: Recent Testing Raises Issues About the Potential Effectiveness of Advanced Radiation Detection Portal Monitors

Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in the nation's defenses against such threats. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors, to replace radiation detection equipment being used at ports of entry.

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Healthcare

Supply on Demand: The Strategic National Stockpile

by Kate Rosenblatt -

One of the most important, best managed, but only theoretically "secret" weapon in the U.S. defense arsenal is the Strategic National Stockpile (of medicines, pharmaceuticals, and other life-saving goods and materials needed to counter biological and/or chemical "incidents," including terrorist attacks). Fortunately, this weapon is designed to save lives, not destroy them.

Preparedness

Case Study: Influenza Preparedness in Marin County

by Mary Lilley -

Something like an earthquake - not as loud or as immediately terrifying, but longer lasting and immensely more lethal. That is more or less how the leaders of California's Marin County viewed the approach of the H1N1 pandemic, and why they were so determined to take whatever measures were needed to limit its impact.

Updates

9/11 Drill Down for Safety Ends First Year Exceeding Expectations

Safe America Foundation's report on innovative domestic-preparedness drills and exercises cites numerous successes in cities throughout the nation and projects even greater gains for the foreseeable future.

Reports

Cybersecurity: Continued Efforts Are Needed to Protect Information Systems from Evolving Threats

Cyber-based threats to federal systems and critical infrastructure are evolving and growing. The Government Accountability Office - along with other agencies & their inspectors general - has identified significant weaknesses in the security controls on federal information systems, resulting in pervasive vulnerabilities. This GAO report discusses those weaknesses & offers recommendations for improving the nation's cybersecurity strategy.

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Updates

2009 National Conference on Community Preparedness: The Power of Citizen Corps

This year's conference, held in August, featured over 100 presentations and 160 speakers providing the latest updates and best practices on community preparedness across the nation. The proceedings are now online, so those interested can view all available videos, transcripts, presentations, and pictures from the conference.

Updates

DuPont Materials Selected for Two Key Defense Contracts

DuPont Protection Technologies announces that it has been awarded a contract to increase supplies of DuPont Nomex-brand fibers for military applications, & that the DuPont Kevlar has been selected as the ballistic spall liner material for the latest M-ATV (MRAP [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected] All Terrain Vehicle) award. Both fibers have been used for many years to help protect U.S. military personnel from ballistic & flame threats.

Updates

FEMA Administrator Fugate & San Francisco Mayor Newsom Meet To Discuss Partnership, Preparedness 

"The meeting with Mayor Gavin Newsom underscores the value of communication and team building ahead of emergencies or disasters," said FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Administrator Craig Fugate. "The more we do now to prepare as a team, the better our response to the next disaster will be."

Updates

ToxiRAE 3 Portable Carbon Monoxide Monitor for Emergency Medical Services Saves Lives

The ToxiRAE 3 for First Responders is a full-featured, compact, handheld, single-gas monitor designed to clip onto a paramedic's "First-In" bag to provide greater situational awareness about the presence of carbon monoxide.

Reports

OSHA Releases Best Practices for Protecting EMS Responders During Treatment & Transport of Victims of Hazardous-Substance Releases

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a guide for emergency medical service (EMS) responders who provide medical assistance during an incident involving the release of a hazardous substance. The guide discusses the measures employers should take to protect EMS responders from becoming additional victims while on the front line of medical response.

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Updates

Use of Social Media Tools at FEMA

The goals of the Federal Emergency Management Agency efforts with social media are to: (a) provide timely and accurate information related to disaster-preparedness response and recovery operations; (b) provide the public with another avenue for insight into the agency's operations; and (c) engage in what has already become a critical medium in today's world of communications.

Healthcare

Mortuary Services & The Lessons Learned From Real-Life Tragedy

by Jennifer Smither -

First responders do their utmost to save the lives of those seriously injured in mass-casualty incidents. Medical examiners and local volunteers have what is sometimes a more difficult job: identifying the bodies, "processing" the remains, and notifying the victims' families.

Commentary

New and Emerging Al Qaeda Threats

by Neil C. Livingstone -

The term "global war on terrorism" is now politically incorrect, in at least some circles. There is mounting evidence, though, that some terrorists do not agree and are already planning new attacks against domestic targets on the U.S. homeland.

Resilience

Biopreparedness and the Hydra of Bioterrorism

by Diana Hopkins -

Science is wonderful! Except when it is not. One of the almost inevitable problems facing researchers in the biological sciences is how to ensure that their discoveries are used to benefit mankind. Unfortunately, achieving that enviable goal may be a true Mission Impossible.

Reports

Warfighter Support: Actions Needed to Improve Visibility & Coordination of DOD's Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Efforts

The GAO recommends that JIEDDO (Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization) improve its visibility of all counter-IED efforts, work with the services to develop a complete transition plan for initiatives, and define the criteria needed for funding related training initiatives.

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Updates

ESi and 3-GIS Introduce Tucuxi, a New Joint Venture

The new company will develop advanced geospatial-software products that provide a common operating picture to crisis-response teams and decision makers at emergency operations centers at government and corporate installations around the world.

Updates

AMU Students & Staff Receive Top Honors at IAEM Annual Conference

American Military University (AMU) was named the 2009 recipient of the IAEM (International Association of Emergency Managers) Academic Recognition Award for its undergraduate and graduate degree programs in emergency and disaster management.

Updates

DHS Awards Northrop Grumman Immigration & Customs Enforcement Technical Services Task Order

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a task order by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide technical services that will enhance the communication of information across the Immigration and Customs Enforcement enterprise.

Reports

Guidance for Industry & FDA Staff In Vitro Diagnostic 2009 H1N1 Tests for Use in the 2009 H1N1 Emergency

This document provides guidance on the type of information and data that FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends healthcare providers include in an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) request for in vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices intended for use in diagnosing 2009 H1N1 Influenza virus infections during the emergency involving Swine Influenza A as declared by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Reports

Defense Critical Infrastructure: Actions Needed to Improve the Identification & Management of Electrical Power Risks & Vulnerabilities to DOD Critical Assets

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) has conducted three structured written surveys regarding the electrical-power vulnerabilities of the Department of Defense's 34 most critical assets. The results and recommendations on what must be improved are found in this report.

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Updates

FDA Publishes Guidance on Diagnostic Tests for 2009 H1N1 Influenza Virus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a guidance document that should help manufacturers develop diagnostic tests for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

Updates

DHS Showcases Interoperability of EDXL Standards

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Interoperability & Compatibility (OIC), a branch of the department's Science and Technology Directorate, has for the first time demonstrated the interoperability of information-sharing products enabled by the full suite of new Emergency Data eXchange Language (EDXL) standards.

Updates

FOSE 2010 to Feature Its Annual Data Center and Virtualization Pavilion & Theater

The Pavilion and Theater area will serve as a hub for government attendees not only to obtain information on data centers, virtualization, modernization, consolidation, and "green" computing, but also to learn how to utilize data centers to serve their own programs and/or agencies.

Updates

FLIR to Deliver 100,000th Infrared Camera in Tucson, AZ

This remarkable achievement is a reflection of FLIR's success in its efforts to make infrared technology increasingly available and affordable.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces Full Deployment of Radiation Scanning Technology to Northern Border Ahead of Schedule

"Securing our Northern border while facilitating legitimate travel and trade requires a strategic combination of technology, personnel, and infrastructure," said DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "This technology enhances our capability to guard against terrorism and criminal threats while expediting border crossings for lawful trade and travel."

Updates

Avon Protection Wins Contract to Supply Masks and Filters as Part of 'Quick Don' Project

Peter Slabbert, Avon Rubber's Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted to be a part of this important project. Our FM12 mask and filters have been tested in the most stringent of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) environments. Add this to its ease of integration with other PPE equipment, and you have a CBRN suit that is completely fit for its purpose."

Reports

Homeland Security Report

The November edition of the Homeland Security Report is now available for download. This complimentary issue provides readers with information related to a variety of topics such as officer-safety items, how to help support U.S. troops, a calendar of events, and a list of free resources.

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Updates

ICx Technologies Wins $3.6 Million Mass Spectrometer Contract

The Griffin family of GC/MS instruments offers high-performance detection, identification, and confirmation for compounds of interest. These systems have a ruggedized design for rapid on-site analysis. The ChemSense multi-dimensional analysis systems provide the same high performance in a specialized design for continuous indoor air monitoring and detection.

Reports

Maryland - H1N1 Emergency Declaration

The Maryland Office of the Governor has passed a Declaration of Emergency: Influenza Response and Mitigation, to ensure: proper storage, distribution, and administration of SNS materials; school closures when necessary; and appropriate guidance for providers and medical volunteers.

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Healthcare

Ham Radio - An Emergency Tool for Public Health

by Barry Kanne -

In times of sudden disaster, help may be just around the corner - particularly if a ham radio operator is living there. Their ranks are legion, they usually pay all of their own costs, and they are among the most highly skilled communicators in the country. That combination makes them especially valuable as invisible volunteers in the nation's domestic-preparedness community.

Preparedness

Field-Based Patient Tracking: Real-Time Data Sharing Comes of Age

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

The old saying that the job "isn't done until the paperwork has been completed" is particularly true if the "paperwork" data - vital signs, indications of internal bleeding, etc., collected at the scene of a car accident or other incident - is somehow lost before, during or after the patient's arrival at the hospital.

Updates

Dallas Enhances Evacuation Capability From Potential Homeland Security and Natural Disasters With AmbuBus Kits

Dallas County School (DCS) officials have just received 10 AmbuBus kits that will help the city respond to natural or man-made disasters, pandemics, or widespread evacuations. The AmbuBus is a conversion kit that enables existing buses to effectively and efficiently transport special-needs patients and those in need of immediate medical assistance to evacuation medical facilities.

Reports

FEMA: Pandemic Influenza Disaster Assistance Fact Sheet

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in cooperation with various state and federal agencies is prepared to take appropriate and authorized action in response to requests for federal assistance through the Stafford Act as a result of a pandemic influenza.

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Reports

Fire Grants: FEMA Has Met Most Requirements for Awarding Fire Grants, but Additional Actions Would Improve Its Grant Process

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) conducted this report to review the application and award process for these grants. The report also includes how FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) met the necessary requirements for distributing grant funds, assistance to the fire service community with grant process, and to make sure the process is accessible, clear, and consistent with its grant guidance.

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Updates

Smiths Detection to Exclusively Distribute Prime Alert Bio-Threat Detection System

Mal Maginnis, President, Global Military & Emergency Response for Smiths Detection, said: "This partnership highlights Smiths Detection's commitment to provide first responders around the world with the best technology. Prime Alert will expand the applications of our existing solutions as well as give first responders additional field capabilities critical to mitigate potential biological incidents as quickly and accurately as possible."

Reports

Aviation Security: DHS and TSA Have Researched, Developed, and Started Deploying Passenger Checkpoint Screening Technologies, But Continue to Face Challenges

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) was asked to evaluate the extent to which TSA (Transportation Security Administration) used a risk-based strategy to prioritize technology investments, deploy new technologies, and keep key stakeholders informed. The GAO analyzed DHS and TSA plans and documents, conducted site visits to research laboratories and nine airports, and interviewed agency officials, airport operators, and technology vendors.

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