Disaster-response operations are always risky, and almost always complicated. The risks and complications are demonstrably much greater, though, when the incident occurs in a major port, which is already a dangerous place to work and, in addition, has in recent years become a particularly attractive target for terrorists.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) last week, where she delivered remarks to CDP staff and students about the value of preparedness training and homeland security begins with hometown security.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today awarded up to $137 million, partly supported by the Affordable Care Act, to states to strengthen the public health infrastructure and provide jobs in core areas of public health.
"Memex gives the Trinidad and Tobago Police Force the capability of information sharing to mitigate criminal elements in its country," said Neil Schlisserman, Vice President of the Memex Solutions Team at SAS. "Memex has made a commitment to speed-of-delivery, education, consulting, customer satisfaction and project management to ensure our customers realize the full potential of our solution."
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the implementation of the Final Rule for the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act) air cargo screening mandate. This action finalizes the Interim Final Rule (IFR) put into place in September of 2009.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are warning residents in hurricane-impacted areas about the deadly dangers that can remain even after Hurricane Irene strikes. Consumers need to be especially careful during a loss of electrical power, as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire increases at that time.
PharmAthene, Inc., a biodefense company developing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats, has announced that the Company has been awarded a $5.7 million contract under a Department of Defense (DoD) Broad Agency Announcement for studies directed at the development of an advanced expression system for the bioproduction of its nerve agent medical countermeasure program.
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International took quick action yesterday, only a few hours after the magnitude 5.9 earthquake in northern Virginia, to remind the American people, and the U.S. Congress, of the compelling need to build a nationwide interoperable communications network that would be dedicated to public safety, providing a reliable network for first responders to communicate with one another and alleviating commercial network congestion during emergencies.
The still young 21st century has already seen more acts of major terrorism, and more natural disasters, than ever before in recorded history. Most nations are for that reason improving their preparedness and response capabilities. But that is not enough - those capabilities must be thoroughly tested through a probably unending series of drills, exercises, and both individual and team training programs.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced final allocations for 12 preparedness grant programs totaling more than $2.1 billion in federal grants to assist states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector in strengthening our nation's ability to prevent, protect, respond to, recover from, and mitigate terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.
As Hurricane Irene intensifies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is coordinating federal response efforts to support territory and local officials in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while also urging families along coastal areas of the southeastern United States to closely monitor the storm and take the steps needed to prepare for potentially severe weather in the coming days. According to the National Weather Service, Irene has already strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
The ChemPro series of Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) and Toxic Industrial Chemical (TIC) detection products have used an Americium-241 ionization source in their Ion Mobility Spectroscopy (IMS) sensors to provide license-free ownership in many nations of the world, including the United States. However, in some countries, such as Canada, this source is not recognized, so Environics has responded by incorporating a Nickel-63 source in the ChemPro product line. This new source provides the same gas/vapor detection performance as the original Americium-241 source.
RCC Consultants Inc. is pleased to announce the official launch of its Command, Control, and Communications Training and Exercise Solutions Team (C3TEST). C3TEST helps agencies create a holistic, multi-year program to improve capabilities related to command, control, and communications (C3).
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has unveiled new Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for the Department of Homeland Security's "If You See Something, Say Something" public awareness campaign, aimed at educating the public on the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law-enforcement authorities.
Bruker has announced the award of a contract for 40 systems from the Improved Point Detection System - Lifecycle Replacement (IPDS-LR) program through the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) for use by the U.S. Navy. The IPDS-LR system is based on Bruker's RAID-S2, a trace-gas detector for the detection of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs). This system utilizes high-performance ion-mobility spectrometry (IMS) technology.
"We must stop individuals and transnational criminal organizations that seek to exploit the border shared by the United States and Canada to traffic drugs, arms, and other illicit goods," said U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. "We will continue working closely with our Canadian partners through greater operational collaboration and intelligence sharing to strengthen the security of both our nations within, at, and away from our border."
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are marvelous at handling emergencies, healing the sick, and performing a host of minor and major daily miracles. But who heals the healer? In other words, what happens when the hospital itself is suffering from an explosion, an out-of-control fire, or any other type of mass-casualty incident? Today, the answer starts outside the facility with an emergency management program led and monitored by a corporate incident management team.
In the long history of disaster medicine, it has never been more apparent than now how important it is to collaborate with a wide variety of disciplines and jurisdictions, both nationally and abroad. Responders from around the world can learn a lot from the UK's expanding disaster medicine education and training programs.
With training programs offered in a "true toxic environment," the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) offers the perfect environment to test and develop new requirements, guidelines, and procedures for personal protective equipment (PPE). Building user confidence in PPE is yet another opportunity offered to emergency responders at the CDP.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the award of $49 million in grants, partly supported by the Affordable Care Act, to improve the quality of U.S. health care and strengthen the public health infrastructure. The grants, awarded to all fifty states, will fund key state and local public health programs supported through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grants strengthen state, local, and territorial health departments' capacity to perform critical epidemiology and laboratory work, detect and prevent healthcare-associated infections, and support immunization programs.
Avon Protection has announced that it has been awarded a three-year IDIQ (indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity) contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for the continued supply of M61 filters for use with Avon's M50 respirator.
One of the most commonly installed emergency communications products from Cassidian Communications is the VESTA® emergency call processing system. Introduced in 1995, it currently is deployed in 30 percent of public safety answering points (PSAPs) in the United States, protecting nearly 50 million citizens.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski has announced his five-step action plan to chart the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) services. Working with the public safety community, carriers, manufacturers, and other service providers, Chairman Genachowski's goal is to ensure that effective emergency response is a critical element of the broadband environment.
"By continuing to develop our line of compact megapixel cameras, Arecont Vision is further expanding the use of these high performance imaging solutions for mainstream video surveillance applications," said Dr. Michael Kaplinsky, CEO of Arecont Vision. "The attractive price points of Arecont Vision cameras make them cost competitive with standard VGA resolution cameras, and, with this wider selection of models, users can benefit from much greater image resolution and functionality in a smaller, lower cost camera."
"In today's ever-evolving threat environment, we must continually reinforce the security of substances, such as ammonium nitrate, which can be used for legitimate purposes or exploited by terrorists," said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "Creating the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program is a critical step forward in our continued efforts to ensure the security of potentially dangerous amounts of ammonium nitrate, while still facilitating legitimate everyday use."
The "incident," "disaster," or whatever can be relatively small, but the lessons learned may be very large indeed. That sad fact of life (but sometimes death) was drummed home vividly to those participating in a two-hour UNH campus ministry social that ended several weeks later with a potentially deadly case of gastrointestinal anthrax - the first ever recorded in the United States.
The NFL's energetic but belated start on pre-season training is a timely reminder that even the best-conditioned and most highly skilled players cannot rest on last year's laurels. The same is true, but much more so, of emergency responders, whose goal is not to win the Super Bowl but to save human lives - sometimes including their own.
NYCWiN (New York City Wireless Network) is a high-speed mobile data network that spans New York City's more than 300 square miles and five boroughs. Under the terms of the contract renewal, Northrop Grumman will continue to provide operations and maintenance support, integration services, and mobile application solutions to the network for enhanced and expanded public-safety and public-service applications for New York City agencies.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just updated its 2011 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, raising the numbers of expected named storms from its pre-season outlook issued in May. Forecasters also increased their confidence that 2011 will be an active Atlantic hurricane season.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ToxCast chemical screening program has awarded contracts to four U.S.-based companies to test up to 10,000 chemicals for potential toxicity to people and the environment. ToxCast is designed to determine how chemical exposures affect human health. When fully implemented, ToxCast will be able to screen thousands of chemicals in fast and cost-effective tests.
Five cities will receive a total of $400,000 in National Postal Model grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The grants fund planning and exercises to incorporate U.S. Postal Service employee volunteers into community plans to deliver medication after an anthrax bioterrorism attack.
Raytheon has been awarded a contract to provide Rock County, Wisconsin, with its first interoperable communications system, a 20-site conventional P25 digital land mobile radio system. The system will provide seamless communications across public safety and municipal services within the county, which spans more than 700 miles in the South-Central area of the state.
"Radiation injury to the GI tract is highly debilitating and potentially lethal," said Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) Director Dr. Robin Robinson. "The early-stage results with these two anti-inflammatory agents are very encouraging, and the additional studies we're funding will determine whether these drugs have real promise as radiation countermeasures. Our ultimate goal is to develop safe and effective human therapeutics that could be used against acute radiation syndrome."
A unique joint tracking solution that gives hospitals complete situational awareness from the scene of a mass-casualty incident to and through patient admittance and discharge could play a critical role in victim treatment and survivability in the event of a mass-casualty incident.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is looking for hard-working, dedicated men and women to join its ranks on the frontline of protecting our homeland. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents carry out CBP's dual mission to facilitate travel and trade while securing the nation from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is increasing the type and amount of information it collects on commercial chemicals from chemical manufacturers, allowing the agency to better identify and manage potential risks to Americans' health and the environment.
"The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Fire and Law Enforcement personnel now have a fully approved multiband radio," said Michael Sheehan, President and CEO of Thales Communications Inc. "The Liberty radio is a complete solution and is in the field today serving our nation's first responders."
Official government prose is formal, dignified, and enriched with copious quantities of federalese - accurate usually, but also bland and flavorless. Which is why the CDC is reaching out to touch citizens of the 24/7 generation through the use of blogs, tweets, Facebook and other social media that are much more likely to get their attention.
The massive increase in workload at FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness has led to not only a parallel increase in the center's own specialized capabilities but also a Noble upgrading of facilities, equipment, and the training curriculum. The other good news, for state and local budget managers, is that all expenses are federally funded.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that Global Entry kiosks are now available at Canadian pre-clearance locations as part of the integration of the Global Entry and NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs.
by Marko Bourne, Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) -
Experts agree that the reduction in federal grant funds will have a significant impact on state and local jurisdictions. The solution: Recognize past successes and failures, understand current concerns, and develop regional approaches for the future. This report provides valuable information for responders, receivers, planners, and managers who apply for or benefit from federal grants.
Core to the new Avon Protection hydration system is the CamelBak chem/bio resistant three-litre flexible reservoir, which has been specifically engineered to fit directly to any Avon Protection CBRN mask and will provide a new dimension in refreshment support and comfort for task forces and first responders operating in a CBRN environment.