january 2011

Updates

Industry Leaders Bring IVR-Enhanced Incident Management System to Market

ESi Acquisition Inc. and the Vox Generation Group are pleased to announce the formation of a joint venture company, Boards Talk LLC. Boards Talk powered by WebEOC introduces a direct "voice-to-machine" interface between the award-winning technology of VoxGen and ESi's WebEOC Professional, the most commonly used crisis information management system in the world.

Updates

National Fire Academy Completes New Emergency Medical Services Courses

The U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Academy (NFA) has completed development of its first two new Emergency Medical Services (EMS) courses: Emergency Medical Services Quality Management (EMS QM); and Emergency Medical Services Functions in the Incident Command System (EMS FICS).

Updates

CONTROP Unveils New Surveillance Systems

CONTROP's new L-VIEW Compact Land (Vehicle) Commander Sight System was designed to answer a unique field requirement as an aid to the commander and crew of light armored vehicles. The L-VIEW enables the commander to have complete control of the surrounding area in panoramic view.

Updates

GUI Updates in the SAM 940 Eagle Allow Faster Gamma & Neutron Detection, Assessment & Disposition by First Responders

Berkeley Nucleonics' new GUI (Graphical User Interface) updates in its EAGLE+ gives end users the ability to set mission-specific thresholds for a variety of alarm conditions. Customers can now address a broader range of applications, from underground subway stations with high natural backgrounds to missions at sea with very low natural backgrounds.

Updates

DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces New National Terrorism Advisory System

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will discontinue the color-coded alerts of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) in favor of a new system, the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), that will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.

Preparedness

Florida's Second Civil Support Team Passes Initial Evaluation

by Thomas Kielbasa -

In today's violent world, no nation is ever fully prepared for a terrorist attack - and, therefore, never "fully safe." The creation and deployment of highly capable National Guard Civil Support Teams, though - Florida's 48th CST is a good example - is helping to bring the nation much closer to realization of that impossible dream.

Preparedness

Working Together - More Than Just Protecting a Venue

by Chris Weber -

The responder teams assigned to protect the public at major sports events can (and should) learn a valuable lesson from the college or pro teams actually on the field: Individual skills and effort are needed to play the game - but teamwork, particularly the "team" part of that word, is and will always be the real key to victory.

Commentary

FINAL REPORT: Medical Countermeasures for Large-Scale Biological Attacks

by Robert Kadlec, Former Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security & Senior Director for Biological Defense Policy -

Not surprisingly, and despite minor differences of opinion on other questions, career homeland-security professionals and DPJ readers agree in general that there will be another terrorist attack against the United States "within the next 10 years." What to do about it, though - particularly to be better prepared ahead of time - is and will be a topic worthy of much greater attention now and for the foreseeable future.

Updates

Secret Service Site Security Training Gains a High-Tech Edge

Chemical releases, suicide bombers, air and subsurface threats: The U.S. Secret Service needs to be prepared to handle these and other real-life incidents. Training to respond to such incidents, however, has been more theoretical than practical. Now, with help from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), the Secret Service is giving training scenarios a high-tech edge: moving from static tabletop models to virtual kiosks with gaming technology and 3D modeling.

Updates

PACKits May Be the Cure for Invalid Sampling

QuickSilver Analytics Inc. has assembled biological sampling kits that conform to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) validated methods with respect to "Surface Sampling Procedures for Bacillus Anthracis Spores from Smooth, Non-porous Surfaces." These sterile kits, aptly named PACKits (Powder Agent Collections Kits), have been developed to cover three different types of sampling materials depending upon either the requirement of the different laboratories or the size of the area that must be sampled.

Updates

EPA Awards $25 Million to Improve Air Quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $25 million to the Health Effects Institute (HEI) to help address the latest challenges to improving air quality and protecting health. With this funding, HEI will develop the next generation of tools and scientific information needed to examine the combined effects of air pollution exposures on people's health and the relationship between air quality and climate change.

Updates

DisastersNet Automates Incident Action Plan

DisastersNet Inc., a provider of emergency management software solutions for use in critical infrastructure, including healthcare facilities, has developed the tool necessary to automate the emergency response process. The Incident Action Plan (IAP) product module, used in tandem with the DisastersNet Incident Management System (DIMS), allows incident command teams to adapt dynamically to any unplanned situation that arises during an emergency.

Updates

Emergency Alert System Will Be Tested in Alaska

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of Alaska, and the Alaska Broadcasters' Association (ABA) will conduct a statewide test of the national-level Emergency Alert System (EAS) in Alaska this week. The national-level EAS is a public alert and warning system that uses the communications support of broadcasters, cable, and satellite system providers that allows the President to address the Nation in times of an emergency.

Updates

TechRadium Inc. Introduces CommandCore - The Next Generation in Emergency Management

CommandCore is a situational-awareness and incident-tracking tool that is designed to integrate multiple critical systems and databases into a common operating platform, thereby allowing users to manage large volumes of real-time data. CommandCore also utilizes satellite technology, eliminating the need to rely on local infrastructure alone.

Updates

Agility Recovery Brings Innovative Solutions to Turn-Key Disaster Recovery

Agility Recovery brings together innovative products, affordable services, and, most important, great people - experts with the know-how and passion needed to help clients plan for and recover from minor to major interruptions - fast. Thousands of entities rely on Agility each year to help plan for and recover from the unthinkable.

Updates

DuPont Kevlar XP Ballistic Technology Adopted by Safariland

"We are pleased to support Safariland with complete Kevlar solutions for some of their new ballistic vests," said William F. Weber, vice president of DuPont Protection Technologies North America. "We are working together to help protect lives and, with technology offerings like Kevlar XP, we can provide innovative solutions that drive opportunities for next-generation body armor."

Updates

ILC Dover's SCape CBRN 30 Escape Hood Receives CE Mark

ILC Dover has announced that the SCape CBRN 30 (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) Air Purifying Escape Respirator now has a CE marking. The SCape CBRN 30 has been the CBRN escape hood of choice for a wide number of government agencies both in the U.S. and internationally.

Healthcare

Health/Medical Factors Critical in Pre-Planned Events

by Raphael Barishansky -

FEMA, the FBI, and the Secret Service have primary jurisdiction, appropriately, for the safety of National Special Security Events. But the literally life-or-death responsibilities of local medical and healthcare facilities and personnel mandates that they also are fully included in the long-range planning sessions preceding such events.

Updates

LaserBand's StatBand Emergency Response Wristbands Added to GPO Contracts

LaserBand, the worldwide leader in patient identification wristbands, is helping several Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) members leverage hospital preparedness grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Effective immediately, StatBand emergency response wristbands are available nationwide to member facilities at specially negotiated contract rates.

Reports

FRA Should Report on Risks to the Successful Implementation of Mandated Safety Technology

Positive train control (PTC) is a communications-based train control system designed to prevent some serious train accidents. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed this report, which discusses railroads' progress in developing PTC and the remaining steps needed to implement it, the benefits of and challenges in implementing other safety technologies, and the extent of the Federal Railroad Administration's efforts to fulfill the PTC mandate and encourage the implementation of other technologies.

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Updates

ZOLL Propaq MD Monitor/Defibrillator Granted 510(k) Clearance by FDA

ZOLL Medical Corporation, a manufacturer of medical devices and related software solutions, announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market and begin distribution of the new Propaq MD Monitor/Defibrillator, which was developed specifically to meet the special needs of military customers and air medical operations worldwide.

Updates

Previstar Offers a 'No Charge' Web-Based Emergency Planning Software Service

Previstar is offering its CEMPlanner emergency planning software service at no cost to city and county Emergency Management and Public Health organizations to support their planning processes and emergency plans in 2011. The offer is part of Previstar's Partnering for Preparedness program and is open to enrollment to the first 10 qualifying jurisdictions per state that subscribe to the service by 31 March 2011.

Updates

EPA Administrator Jackson & SBA Administrator Mills Announce Launch of Water Technology Innovation Cluster

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills have announced a new collaborative effort called the Water Technology Innovation Cluster (WTIC). The goal of the WTIC is to develop and commercialize innovative technologies to solve environmental and public health challenges, encourage sustainable economic development, and create jobs.

Updates

TSA Notice to Passengers on Insulated Beverage Containers

Passengers may observe additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is carefully monitoring information related to terrorist tactics and working with U.S. international partners to share information and security best practices.

Updates

Uncle Bobs Go Bags Are Helping Individuals, Families & Organizations Survive in Any Emergency

"We want to help others better care for themselves in an emergency...we understand the need for people to get better prepared for inevitable catastrophic events," said Rob Kostelny, co-owner of UncleBobsGoBags.com.

Reports

Developing a Cybervetting Strategy for Law Enforcement

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in partnership with the Defense Personnel Security Research Center (PERSEREC), has released this guide to help chief executives navigate the complicated world of vetting and personnel management in the social media age. The purpose of this document is to present policies and practices to consider when using the Internet to search for information on law enforcement applicants, candidates, and incumbents, and when developing social media policies to limit inappropriate online behaviors.

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Updates

FoxFury HammerHead Alternate Light Source Kits

FoxFury is pleased to announce the new HammerHead LED Forensic Alternate Light Source (ALS) Standard and Premier Kits. Both kits are customizable and allow the user to select the wavelengths (or white light) desired for their specific needs.

Updates

FEMA Blog on Social Media & Emergency Management: Talking with Tech Leaders on the West Coast

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate spoke with technology leaders on the use of social media, technology, emergency management, and ways to help the public become better prepared by using tools the technology leaders use on a daily basis.

Resilience

Lessons Learned in Tampa: Special Event Preparedness

by Sophia Paros -

As emergency-management and other homeland-security professionals well know, the forward-looking terrorists of the 21st century are always looking for new ways to kill large numbers of peace-loving civilians at minimum risk to themselves. After all, why murder one or two people when 100 or even 1,000 or more are available - at the same time, and in the same place?

Preparedness

Using Virtual Worlds to Plan for Real World Challenges

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

The battle of Waterloo was won, Wellington said, "on the playing fields of Eton." Today's high-tech playing fields - simulators and training devices, primarily - are somewhat less vigorous, but arguably much more important and can be used to train veritable armies of professional responders, either as individuals or as members of a well coordinated team.

Preparedness

Air Guard Strengthens Stance for Homeland Defense, Civil Support

by John Orrell -

During and since World War II, those serving in the National Guard and Reserve components have more than lived up to their Churchillian designation as "twice the citizen." Their long list of missions will increase significantly in the months and years ahead, though - particularly in the field of homeland security.

Updates

L-3 Offers Broad Portfolio of TSA-Qualified Air Cargo X-Ray Screening Systems

L-3 has announced that twelve of its X-ray screening systems have been placed on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Air Cargo Qualified Technologies List. L-3's air cargo portfolio of products screens both break-bulk and skid-based air cargo with systems covering TSA's small, medium, and large X-ray classifications.

Updates

FLIR Systems Awarded U.S. CBP Contract to Support Mobile Surveillance Capabilities

FLIR Systems Inc. has announced that its ICx Technologies subsidiary has been awarded a contract, valued at up to $101.9 million, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), for the procurement of Mobile Surveillance Capabilities systems. The contract calls for integrated mobile surveillance and detection systems made to operate day and night in rugged areas of the U.S. southern border.

Updates

Food Safety Modernization Act: Putting the Focus on Prevention

Each year, foodborne illness strikes 48 million Americans, hospitalizing an estimated hundred thousand or so and killing thousands. The historic Food Safety legislation that President Obama has signed directs the Food and Drug Administration, working with public and private partners, to build a new system of food safety oversight - one focused on applying, more comprehensively than ever before, the best available science, and common sense, to prevent the problems that can make people sick.

Updates

DHS Announces Partnership With WCO to Strengthen the Security & Resiliency of the Global Supply Chain

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced a new partnership with the World Customs Organization (WCO) to enlist other nations, international bodies, and the private sector in increasing the security of the global supply chain - outlining a series of new initiatives to make the system stronger, smarter, and more resilient.

Updates

Bruker Announces Acquisition of PROTECT-US Radiation Detection

The PROTECT-US radiation detection systems and integrated communications solutions will considerably expand the Bruker Detection product offerings to meet existing and future homeland security requirements for the detection of concealed nuclear weapons, and for isotope identification, thereby considerably expanding Bruker's addressable markets in radiation detection.

Commentary

Should U.S. 'Take Out' Julian Assange

by Neil C. Livingstone, Ph.D. -

If not, why not? There are good reasons, both pro and con. And is Assange the only culprit? Also, why are senior U.S. officials hiding behind reassuring comments that provide little or no comfort to U.S. allies throughout the world - and/or to the American people, either. Finally, at a time of maximum peril, why is the question headlined above relegated to the "Too Hard" basket?

Healthcare

Pre-Planned Events: An Aid to Preparedness

by Joseph Cahill -

The shopping list for a typical marathon requires that a number of "comfort stations" be available - also some ambulances and EMS techs, plus police and/or volunteers to seal off and protect a mere 26 miles plus of roads, traffic circles, bridges, and other urban thoroughfares. So why not get some value-added responder training out of it as well?

Reports

ATSDR: Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) determines public health implications associated with hazardous waste sites and other environmental releases. ATSDR has written this manual to provide guidance to new and experienced health assessors when performing the variety of tasks associated with the public health assessment process.

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Updates

Defense Group Inc. (DGI) Launches New Software Product

DGI has launched its newest software product, called Tactical Aid and Collaboration Toolset (TACT), which consists of negotiation aids, a digital situation board, chat capabilities, tools, and incident data recording for the coach and the primary negotiator.

Updates

Secretary Sebelius Highlights HHS Accomplishments During 2010

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discusses the many accomplishments of the Department over the course of the past year.

Updates

Blog: FEMA's Role in Winter Weather

As severe snow storms make headlines all around the country, many of the American people may be wondering what role the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plays. This blog discusses FEMA's role before, during, and after a storm. Comments are encouraged.