The Need for Community Public Safety UAS Programs | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/TethysImagingLLC
Resilience

The Need for Community Public Safety UAS Programs

by Charles L. Werner -

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drones) offer great value for public safety, with support and guidance needed at the local, state, and national levels when considering such systems. UAS offer a profound new view and situational awareness of significant incidents, events, and disasters. This article describes the value of UAS and provides guidance for jurisdictions considering implementing UAS programs.

 
Commentary

Aiding the Response to Fentanyl With Portable Equipment

by Philip Tackett -

Illegal manufacturing of fentanyl continues to rise and, with it, the dangers of clandestine drug laboratories to responders. Dangerous crime scenes like these are not limited to any one location. Responders everywhere need to prepare to encounter them at any point. Portable gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) equipment can help hazardous materials (hazmat) response teams quickly identify white powders, like fentanyl, and associated cutting agents on-scene.

Resilience

Counterinsurgency & Emergency Management

by Roger Parrino & Terry Hastings -

Counterinsurgency and emergency management are two seemingly unrelated concepts, yet they have a lot in common in terms of the strategies necessary to succeed. In each case, empowerment is the ultimate key to success. For counterinsurgency, it is about empowering the host country and, for emergency management, it is about empowering local jurisdictions. Although empowerment is the central theme, the strategies to achieve empowerment include diplomacy, relationship building, and trust.

Commentary

Averting Disaster – A Multi-Tier Approach

by Catherine Feinman -

Disasters can take many forms – naturally occurring like a volcanic eruption or solar flare, human-caused like a terrorist attack or radioactive material release, or technological like a cyberattack or data breech. Although a specific threat or hazard may be unavoidable, whether it eventually becomes a “disaster” is not a certainty. Averting disaster requires making the right decisions at the right time – from the crisis leaders to the boots on the ground.

Updates

S&T Supports FEMA's Recovery Plan in Puerto Rico

To supplement recovery the 2017 hurricanes, Congress has required the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the Governor of Puerto Rico in delivering a full report on the damage as well as a plan for building back more resiliency within 180 days. Supporting this effort, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is providing expertise in integrating possible solutions with assessing hurricane damage and recovery needs in Puerto Rico.

Sniffing Out Disease: Dogs Trained for Wildlife Disease Surveillance

Dogs, adopted from shelters and animal rescue centers, are housed and trained at the USDA-APHIS National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Fort Collins, Colorado. They are part of a collaborative 12-month program to evaluate the effectiveness of training and using dogs to detect avian influenza.

New Free S&T App Tracks Locations, Vitals, Keeping First Responders Safe

When first responders are on a mission, being able to quickly and easily track the location of fellow responders can be challenging. Recognizing this limitation, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) funded the development of the Watchtower mobile application, which is available, free of charge for all public safety users. The app allows users to track and report their locations using the global positioning systems already built into smartphones.

Statement From FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on FDA’s Efforts to Foster Discovery and Development of New Tools to Fight Antimicrobial-Resistant Infections

The increase in serious antimicrobial drug-resistant infections is a critical public health concern and a growing threat to patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working on the scientific challenges and economic impediments surrounding this issue.

DRIVe-ing Innovation

DRIVe is a transformative, business-friendly approach to identifying, capturing, nurturing and accelerating lifesaving innovation to solve tough health challenges that span health security and daily healthcare. The Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIV) is part of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will oversee this new accelerator program.