In the chaos of burning buildings, it is not just the flames that are dangerous and potentially lethal, but also toxic fumes like cyanide that are released when certain materials are incinerated. These fumes, mixed with smoke, are so toxic that even in very low quantities may pose more risk than the fire itself. Science and Technology Directorate's Chemical Security Analysis Center chemists have invented a test to indicate possible toxic cyanide exposure at the fire scene.
The National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) serves first responders and emergency managers throughout metropolitan areas in the country, helping to solve the complex challenges faced by urban responders. The lab evaluates technologies and provides tools and guidance for all state and local first responders to safeguard their communities.
Immune response to vaccines is unpredictable, transient, and ineffective, largely due to a lack of understanding of the complex mechanisms of action underlying immune memory. The Assessing Immune Memory (AIM) program seeks to develop a platform capability to predict immune memory informed by a systems-level view of the host response to vaccination and its mechanisms.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded $5.6 million to strengthen the role of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in rural America. SAMHSA’s Rural EMS Training Grant will fund the recruitment and training of EMS personnel in rural areas, with a particular focus on addressing mental health and substance use disorders in emergency settings.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is establishing the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE). This is the first office of its kind at the national level to address climate change and health equity. The OCCHE's mission is to protect vulnerable communities who disproportionately bear the brunt of pollution and climate-driven disasters, such as drought and wildfires, at the expense of public health.
Slow production methods and reliance on a global supply chain currently limit Department of Defense (DoD) access to critical proteins such as medical countermeasures (MCMs; i.e., antibodies, vaccines, and clotting factors), diagnostic components, and key enzymes for producing nucleic acids. To address these challenges, the Reimagining Protein Manufacturing (RPM) program aims to establish the foundational technologies needed for fully distributed, on-demand manufacturing of biologics-based MCMs and their associated raw materials.
The First Aid for Severe Trauma (FAST™) training program is now available to organizations and individuals seeking education on handling a life-threatening bleeding emergency. FAST is a Stop the Bleed® course funded with grant support from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and developed by the Uniformed Services University’s National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health in collaboration with the American Red Cross.
As wildfire fronts advance through landscapes or communities on the ground, they also attack from above, launching volleys of glowing embers into the air. Also known as firebrands, these specks of burning debris can glide for up to 40 kilometers (approximately 24 miles) before landing and can cause up to 90% of home and business fires during wildfires. Guidance on fending off ember attacks is sparse, largely because so little is known about embers’ behavior. But a new instrument, dubbed an emberometer, could offer a glimpse at their true nature.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a new center designed to advance the use of forecasting and outbreak analytics in public health decision making. The Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics will bring together next-generation public health data, expert disease modelers, public health emergency responders, and high-quality communications. The new center will accelerate access to and use of data for public health decision-makers who need information to mitigate the effects of disease threats.
To assist public safety agencies, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) created the Public Safety Communications and Cyber Resiliency Toolkit to provide guidance and resources supporting the ability of communications networks to withstand damage and minimize the likelihood of a service outage. The toolkit is intended to identify and address emergent trends and issues, consolidate resources, educate stakeholders at all levels of government, and propose mitigations to enable resilient public safety communications.