A Breath of Fresh Air: The Best Respiratory Protection at the Most Reasonable Cost

Continuing budget constraints will make it very difficult for agencies at all levels of government – including the nation’s armed forces and homeland-security departments – to upgrade their “hardware” inventories during the coming year. For first responders, getting the most protection for the lowest acceptable cost could be a breathtaking

The Hospital ICS: Mainstream Solution, or Barely Used?

Most but not all HICS policy guidelines have been deemed by the nation’s health-care community to be both reasonable and acceptable. And most but, again, not all are being incorporated into local emergency-response policies and guidelines as well. So the system is not yet perfect. It is headed in the

The Limits of Detection: A New Horizon Beckons

To enter, or not to enter? That is the first and most important question facing first responders arriving at the scene of a major incident where there is reason to believe the area may be contaminated by biological agents. Lives are at stake, though, so quick decisions are mandatory, and

DomPrep Executive Briefing on PS-Prep

The well attended 15 November DomPrep Executive Briefing on the Department of Homeland Security’s new “Private-Sector Preparedness” program not only provided a wealth of information for those participating but also raised several exceptionally relevant questions – on a broad range of closely related topics. The one virtually unanimous conclusion (no

Field-Proven Medical Skills for Law-Enforcement Units

Thanks to major improvements in military medical care, even on the battlefield itself, the U.S. combat KIA (killed in action) casualty rate has declined dramatically for more than half a century. Question: Could the same medical skills, training, and equipment be used to reduce the KIA rate of U.S. police

Technology and Equipment: Training Needed on Both

Baltimore knows, and so do the great states of Oregon and Pennsylvania, that the first requirement in preparedness training is having the right type of equipment – in the quantities needed to meet all possible contingencies. The “other” first requirement is to ensure that all users of that equipment are

Hospital Emergency Planning: Hospitals Qualify as Critical Infrastructure

How does one define “critical”? Far too often in today’s interconnected world, that important designation is awarded retrospectively – i.e., after a terroristic attack or major weather disaster. A credible case can be made, though, that major hospitals and other healthcare facilities deserve that description because of their intrinsic value

Another Look at EMS Staffing in Action

As this year’s U.S. elections clearly demonstrate, there is a built-in conflict between voters’ desire for more and improved services and the equally compelling requirement, at all levels of government, to reduce expenditures. In the field of emergency medical services, this problem is particularly difficult to resolve because not only

NIMS-ICS & the Private Sector – Good Fit, or a Stretch?

Nine years later, and nothing has changed! Well, that is not exactly true. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is alive and, although not always moving forward at flank speed, has made considerable progress in several ways. Many relatively new programs should be expanded and upgraded, though, particularly those involving

Resilience: Developing Professionalism, Clarifying the Incentives

The QHSR, the BUR, NFPA, and PS-Prep are marching in lockstep in their combined efforts to upgrade the nation’s awareness of resilience as a primary goal of preparedness planning, training, and implementation. Here are some helpful guidelines that political decision makers, budget managers, and operating professionals alike might find useful

The EMS Role on FAST Teams & HazMat Assignments

The risks may be theoretically “controlled” but they are still risks – and controls don’t always work. Which is the reasoning behind the “two-in/two out” rule, the need for an EMS specialist on scene, and the ethical imperative guiding the decisions of political leaders and emergency managers.

The Insurance Industry’s Role in PS-Prep

The much-revered U.S. “private citizen” has become increasingly critical of all levels of government in recent years, according to most recent polls and surveys. And justifiably so, according to a virtual army of pundits and commentators – and many politicians themselves. But that same beloved private citizen, if he or


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