january 2013


CDC Releases First Estimates of the Food Sources of all Foodborne Illnesses Acquired in the U.S.

A new Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) paper, "Attribution of Foodborne Illnesses, Hospitalizations, and Deaths to Food Commodities By Using Outbreak Data, United States, 1998-2008" is being published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.  For the first time, CDC has developed a comprehensive set of estimates using data from more than a decade of foodborne disease outbreaks and previously published estimates on how many illnesses can be attributed to each food category.


The Local Imperative for Building and Sustaining National Resilience

by Marko Bourne -

Joplin High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School both suffered devastating disasters - one natural and one manmade. In both cases, the residents rallied behind their schools and their communities to rebuild and recover. Lesson learned: From unexpected events, unexpected leaders often emerge who are both willing and able to lead their communities back to some form of "normal."


New Cubic System Could Help Better Manage Large Crowds at Events

Cubic Corporation is developing a new system that could make large gatherings of people - like the Super Bowl, NASCAR races, Mardi Gras and events on the National Mall - safer and easier to manage. Using a series of sensors and Cubic's Mission Rehearsal Planning System (MRPS), authorities will be able to accurately determine in real time the volume of people flowing through a large area and even model what will happen in the future so steps can be taken to avoid problems.


FINAL REPORT: Planned Special Events

by H. Steven Blum -

When 10,000 or more people gather for a planned special event, there are many things to consider: risks, credentialing, volunteers, standards, training, transportation, and communication. This report addresses each of these topics from the perspectives of practitioners who share their experience with large-scale events.


Salient Systems Certifies Latest Product With AMAG Technology Under Symmetry Extended Business Solutions Program

"Salient proactively maintains its certifications with AMAG's Symmetry SMS to provide up-to-date integration for advanced video surveillance solutions for our customers," said Extended Business Solutions, Program Manager, Shae Taylor.


New Norovirus Strain Causing Most Norovirus Outbreaks in United States

A new strain of norovirus called GII.4 Sydney was the leading cause of norovirus outbreaks in the United States from September to December 2012, according to a study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Norovirus is very contagious. In the United States, norovirus is the number one cause of acute gastroenteritis, which leads to diarrhea and vomiting.


Understanding Public Health Emergency Declarations

by Raphael M. Barishansky -

From natural disasters to bioterrorist attacks, public health emergencies can emerge from a broad range of events. Officials must be able to recognize when to declare the emergencies and understand the impacts of such declarations. As Superstorm Sandy demonstrated, sometimes exceptions are needed to provide rapid disaster relief.


Preparing a Region for the Nation's Inauguration

by Craig DeAtley -

National Security Special Events such as the presidential inauguration require dozens of committees working closely together to coordinate efforts to protect the health and security of all visitors and participants. Stationary and mobile medical units were strategically positioned to address any health concern that might arise.


National Special Security Events: Transportation Checklists

by Laurel J. Radow -

Transportation to and from any special event can be a challenge, but there are additional requirements that must be met for events of national significance with the highest level of security. In the United States, the Federal Highway Administration provides checklists, publications, and even peer-to-peer support for professionals tasked with planning such events.


Implant Sciences Receives TSA Approval

Implant Sciences Corporation, a high-technology supplier of systems and sensors for homeland security and defense markets, has announced that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has notified the company that its Quantum Sniffer QS-B220 Explosives Trace Detector has successfully met the requirements for acceptance onto the Air Cargo Screening Technology List (ACSTL).


2013 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut

You are invited to join more than one million people who will drop, cover, and hold during the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut on 7 February 2013. This regional earthquake drill will include participants across nine states - and they will practice what to do when an actual earthquake occurs.


New Guide on Best Practices for Emergency Vehicle Visibility

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), supported by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and in partnership with the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association (CVVFA) Emergency Responder Safety Institute, announce the availability of a guide to help emergency services departments increase the visibility of emergency vehicles to motorists in order to keep responders safe during roadway operations.

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CBRNe Conference to Define an All Hazards Response

CBRNe World's Dublin conference will raise awareness of all-hazard events and the diverse roles that chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) teams play in responding to them. As budgets are being cut, leaders must be aware of how existing resources can be transitioned as the focus of the incidents change.


Bruker's SIGIS 2 Identifies Multiple Airborne Chemical Compounds From Distances Up to 10 km

Bruker Corporation's SIGIS 2 (Scanning Infrared Gas Imaging System) automatically identifies multiple airborne chemical compounds at distances of up to 10 km, making it ideal for stadium security and the monitoring of large crowds. The SIGIS 2 provides the ability to immediately, and remotely, identify released compounds and allow responders to take the appropriate actions needed.


Active Shooter Preparedness

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to enhance preparedness through a "whole community" approach by providing training, products, and resources to a broad range of stakeholders on issues such as active shooter awareness, incident response, and workplace violence.


FDA Approves New Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Made Using Novel Technology

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it has approved Flublok, the first trivalent influenza vaccine made using an insect virus (baculovirus) expression system and recombinant DNA technology. Flublok is approved for the prevention of seasonal influenza in people 18 through 49 years of age.


An Overlooked Factor in Mass Killings

by Joseph Trindal -

Violent crime may be decreasing in the United States, but mass killings seem to be on the rise. Although media play a critical role in raising situational awareness, there are associated costs - misinformation, emotionally driven dialogue, and information that not only assists planning for other would-be attackers, but may possibly have a "contagion" effect.


Building a Bigger Better Buffer Zone Protection Plan

by Richard Morman -

Criticality, accessibility, recuperability, vulnerability, effect, and recognizability - all are essential elements that help identify risks and determine a course of action to protect potential targets of terrorist activity. By identifying risks and creating a "buffer zone" to protect valuable infrastructure, special events such as football games at The Ohio State University can continue to be as safe as possible.


Air, Sea, Land: No Detail Left Unplanned

by Scott L. Brillman -

As tall ships sailed into port, the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels flew overhead, and visitors filled the streets, the 2012 Sailabration in Baltimore, Maryland, became not only an official celebration but also a unique special event that required the collaboration, cooperation, and combined talents of hundreds of local volunteers and scores of senior officials.


Intermedix Announces Strategic Acquisitions

Intermedix Corporation, a leading provider of technology-enabled solutions for the U.S. healthcare and emergency response industries, has announced the completion of three new acquisitions: Anesthesia Revenue Management (ARM); Practice Support Resources (PSR); and ESi.


MSA Releases Tower Version of Popular EVOTECH Full-Body Harness

The EVOTECH Tower Full-Body Harness is designed with a body belt and saddle to provide utility workers with unsurpassed comfort during long shifts.


FEMA Awards Nearly $15 Million in Public Assistance Grants to Local Governments

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced four additional public assistance grants totaling nearly $15 million to reimburse the New York City Department of Transportation, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Nassau County, and the town of Babylon for costs associated with debris removal following Hurricane Sandy.


GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Footwear Technology 

W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. has announced that its most advanced comfort technology is now available in tactical military and law enforcement footwear. GORE-TEX extended comfort footwear enables military and law enforcement professionals to wear a single pair of boots for the widest range of climates.


Flu Cases Widespread in 41 States

Widespread influenza activity is being reported across much of the country and the American Red Cross urges people who have not yet gotten a flu vaccine to get their vaccination now.


American Red Cross Launches Online 'Coping with Deployments' Course

The American Red Cross is offering an online version of its "Coping with Deployments" course, which is designed to promote resilience in families supporting the military deployment of a loved one. The online format benefits those who are unable to attend an instructor-led course, who live far from a military installation or community, and/or who would benefit from a refresher course.


Hands-On Training in an Internet World

by Joseph Cahill -

Online educational programs fill an important niche for today's emergency professionals. However, decisions must be weighed when choosing online vs. classroom training because the process of watching online videos, reading a book, and taking tests differs in many ways from learning the practical skills needed to assess and treat patients.


Special Events Challenges - A Sesquicentennial Example

by Stephen Grainer -

Much has changed in 150 years, but there are some constants - weather, geography, population - that are almost always changing. By understanding local climate conditions, the topography and transportation challenges involved, and the sometimes malicious intent of certain attendees, special event planners can prevent or at least mitigate the effect of dangerous incidents and emergencies.


Phoenix Groups Sigmon System Receives NFPA 1992-2012 Certification

The Phoenix Group of Virginia Inc. has announced that the Sigmon System (hazardous materials suit) has received the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1992-2012 Edition Certification. The NFPA 1992 Certification is a standard for liquid- splash protective ensembles. The Sigmon System Suit is designed for emergency services personnel responding to incidents involving hazardous materials.


New Freshman Course Focuses on Biomedical Research in Clinical Setting

Arizona State University's (ASU) School of Life Sciences is offering a new course this spring to introduce freshman biology students to translational research in biomedicine at Mayo Clinic Arizona. The course, BIO 191, is called "Introduction to Translational Biomedical Research," and is an important and concrete step that the school is taking toward integrating the ASU-Mayo partnership directly into the ASU curriculum for the benefit of the students.


Thermo Fisher Scientific Enhances Handheld Raman Chemical Analyzer Software

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has announced software enhancements to its Thermo Scientific FirstDefender RM and FirstDefender RMX handheld Raman chemical identification instruments. The software enhancements allow for faster results, the detection of chemicals at lower concentrations, and a first-ever "Tagging" feature that enables users to prioritize and tag individual chemicals of interest.


Chairman McCaul Announces Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairs for the 113th Congress

U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has released his own official statement on the Committee's prospective agenda for the 113th Congress and, with it, the names of the panel's subcommittee chairmen and chairwomen.


Executive Master of Professional Studies in Emergency & Disaster Management

The Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) focused on the United States' security through the development and application of world-class science and technology, have joined forces to create this new program in order to better prepare future leaders in emergency management.


IP Access International (IPA) Launches Isis Dual-Satellite Network

The IP Access International's Isis dual-satellite network offers the unique ability to seamlessly transition between West Coast and East Coast teleports in the event of any natural disaster. IPA's redundant satellite options and independent earth stations on both coasts make IPA the only provider to guarantee continuing communications in a regional disaster.


FDA Proposes New Food Safety Standards for Foodborne Illness Prevention & Produce Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed two new food safety rules that will help prevent foodborne illness. The proposed rules, which are available for public comment for 120 days, implement the landmark bipartisan FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FDA encourages Americans to review and comment on these important proposed rules.


Emergent BioSolutions Secures Exclusive U.S. Commercial Rights to Next-Generation Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Candidate

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has signed a license agreement with VaxInnate Corporation under which Emergent acquired the exclusive right to manufacture and sell VaxInnate's pandemic influenza vaccine candidate in the United States. The product candidate, a recombinant vaccine, has the potential to be produced quickly, at high yields, and in a cost-effective manner.


Cubic to Deploy Mesh Asset Tracking Technology to Afghanistan

Cubic Corporation will deploy thousands of Mesh Asset Tags (MATs) as well as their Web-based Device Management Center (DMC) asset visibility system to bases near Kandahar and Bagram, where the technology will be used to track and process equipment being redeployed or returned home in the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan.