july 2011


HHS Awards $71.3 Million to Strengthen Nursing Workforce

Nursing workforce development programs, reauthorized by the Affordable Care Act and administered by the HHS Health Resources & Services Administration, are the primary source of federal funding for nursing education and workforce development. These programs bolster nursing education at all levels, from entry-level preparation through the development of advanced-practice nurses.


Morpho's Detection Business Announces Senior Leadership Change

"Brad Buswell's unique combination of government and business experience along with leadership skill makes him the clear choice to lead Morpho Detection to continued and further success." said Jay Cohen, chairman of the board, Morpho Detection, Inc. "The board and I have complete confidence in Brad's ability to continue and enhance Morpho Detection's track record of homeland security leadership."


Federal Government Initiatives on Grant Alignment

by Clare Helminiak -

A senior HHS executive, and world-class authority on medical-surge programs and requirements, discusses both the National Health Security Strategy the Whole Community FEMA approach - introduced earlier this year in that agency's 2011-14 Strategic Plan - mandated to maintain "truly integrated and scalable public health...in an environment of increasingly constrained fiscal resources." This is required reading for all grant applicants!


How to Cope with Reduced Federal Funding: Challenges & Opportunities for Emergency Response Agencies

by Melissa Roessler -

Whatever the outcome of the current and long-running debt-limit controversy at the highest levels of government, it seems certain that the funding of emergency preparedness and national defense programs both will be cut to at least some extent. Here is some helpful advice that prudent planners might want to use to survive even the most serious cutbacks now being contemplated.


Now Hiring: Grant Seekers May Apply

by Catherine Feinman -

Read this "how to" article not only carefully but also constructively - and even a bit creatively at times. Here are not only the ABCs of the grant-application process but also the What, Why, When, Wherefore, and How questions most likely to be asked. Plus some friendly tips on key concepts, special forms and special names, grant guidelines, funding/fiscal resources/finances, and reviewers and the review process. Also, pre-planning, an all-inclusive approach, and a ton of hard work.


Reducing the Community's Risk - One Grant at a Time

by Anthony S. Mangeri Sr. -

The guiding principle in emergency preparedness is virtually identical to one of the Golden Rules of good health: Prevention is much better, and almost always lower in cost, than recovery and rehabilitation. Which is why intelligent "grantsmanship" not only focuses first on the reduction of risks and vulnerabilities but also remembers that, somewhat like fingerprints, each grant program possesses "its own unique requirements and standards."


Using Grant Data to Improve Communications Interoperability

by Nyla Beth Houser & Jessica Lance -

One of the nation's highest priorities in emergency preparedness has been, and will continue to be, the creation of vastly improved communications capabilities. Considerable progress has been made to date. But much more is needed, probably accompanied by additional funding at all levels of government: federal, state, and local.


DisastersNet Changes Name to ReadyPoint Systems, Introduces New Technology

After two years and a presence in more than 100 hospitals, DisastersNet has changed its name to ReadyPoint Systems and expanded its technology offerings. EyeOn is ReadyPoint's newest technology. Built on the same platform as StandTo, the new system helps hospitals manage quality and patient safety - from hand-washing compliance to patient tracers - on a consistent basis.


DHS Secretary Napolitano Releases Report Highlighting DHS Progress Fulfilling 9/11 Commission Recommendations

"Ten years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, America is stronger and more resilient than ever before, but threats from terrorism persist and challenges remain," said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. "Over the past decade, we have made great strides to secure our nation against a large attack or disaster, to protect critical infrastructure and cyber networks, and to engage a broader range of Americans in the shared responsibility for security."


Not All Preparedness Grants Are Identical

by Randall C. Duncan -

A distinguished national officer of the International Association of Emergency Managers provides a short but concise list of helpful recommendations that grant-seekers at all levels of government, and in the private sector, might be well advised to follow in preparing, reviewing, submitting, and following up on their own grant applications.


FDA, Federal Partners Develop Tools for Food-Emergency Readiness

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its federal partners have released the Food Related Emergency Exercise Boxed (FREE-B) set, a Web-based collection of scenarios that will help government regulators, public health organizations, and the food industry test their readiness for food-related emergencies, such as a human health emergency caused by an unintentional contamination of produce with E. coli O157:H7.


Morphix Technologies Introduces Three New Chameleon Chemical Detection Kits

Morphix Technologies has introduced three new easy-to-use Chameleon chemical detection safety kits for law enforcement, first responders, and/or fire personnel. Each convenient Chameleon kit is identified for a specific toxic gas situation. The new kits are now available for clandestine methamphetamine labs or the newer "shake-n-bake" situations (Clan-Meth Lab Detection Kit), a hazardous material release/chemical spill (HazMat Detection Kit) or the newest trend in suicide (Chemical Suicide Detection).


Cassidian Communications Expands Notification Reach of U.S. Public Safety Professionals

Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company, has announced the successful deployment of its Self-Registration Portal (SRP) by numerous U.S. public safety operations utilizing The Communicator! NXT, GeoCast Web and REVERSE 911 notification solutions.


TSA Takes Next Steps to Further Enhance Passenger Privacy

"Our top priority is the safety of the traveling public, and TSA (Transportation Security Administration) constantly strives to explore and implement new technologies that enhance security and strengthen privacy protections for the traveling public," said TSA Administrator John Pistole. "This software upgrade enables us to continue providing a high level of security through advanced imaging technology screening, while improving the passenger experience at checkpoints."


International Workshop Address's Critical Need for Technology to Track First Responders Inside Buildings

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), a leader in the development of technology for safeguarding the lives and health of first responders, will host the sixth annual International Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking Technology Aug. 1-2, 2011.


United States and India Sign Cybersecurity Agreement

The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) establishes best practices for the exchange of critical cybersecurity information and expertise between the two governments through the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and DHS' United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).


Needed From DHS: An Institutional Commitment to Change

by Matt Mayer -

The cities and states seeking grant funds from DHS will be facing an uphill climb for the foreseeable future. DHS itself could help considerably, though, by clarifying the rules, eliminating inconsistencies, dropping all pork-barrel considerations, and - most important of all - inviting U.S. states and cities to become full partners in the decision-making process.


Funding the Responders: What Happens Next

by Glen Rudner -

In today's stressed economy almost all U.S. cities and states are seeking new ways to obtain funds and, at the same time, reduce expenditures. This does not necessarily mean there will be an immediate, and massive, reduction in preparedness grants. But those grants must be written more carefully, more persuasively, and strictly in accordance with the rules postulated by HHS and DHS.


National Preparedness Grants - Strategies for Investment Reductions

by Dennis R. Schrader -

The current debate over the national debt is a stern reminder that, even in politics and economics, what goes up will almost always also come down. The same is true for the funding provided for DHS/HHS preparedness grants - which are now starting to decline in both size and number, and likely to continue on that path for several more years.


Federal Domestic Preparedness Funding: Overview and Outlook

by Catherine Parker & Bobby Courtney -

Before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, federal funding for preparedness grants was much lower than it should have been. Then it was increased exponentially. The nation is now better prepared than ever before to deal with mass-casualty incidents - and there are huge fiscal problems ahead. So major cutbacks in grant programs seem not just probable but inevitable.


Making Funds Count: Developing a Grant-Making Program

by Michele Mindlin -

There are many paths a community can take in search of a preparedness grant, but only one way to ensure that the search will be successful: Follow the Rules! This means advance planning, consulting, paying meticulous attention to all of the rules and regulations involved, and making sensible decisions every step of the way. The last requirement is the most important. Also the most difficult.


Peer Review of Grant Applications: How to Succeed

by Anthony M. Coelho Jr. -

Every writer, amateur or professional, wants to be pleased with his or her own "copy." Every successful writer, though, knows it is much more important to please the readers. And/or the reviewers. And/or the political officials who make the final go/no-go budget decisions.


FDA Approves Vaccines for the 2011-2012 Influenza Season

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced its approval of the influenza vaccine formulation of the 2011-2012 vaccine that will be used by the six manufacturers licensed to produce and distribute influenza vaccine for the United States.


CBP Reminds Boaters of Small Vessel Reporting System

U.S. Customs and Border Protection would like to remind boaters of the availability of the Small Vessel Reporting System to the northern border. The online reporting tool is a voluntary program and will expedite the entry process for participating boaters entering or coming back into the U.S.


CoreLogic Introduces Natural Hazard & Parcel Data Product to Improve Local Emergency Planning & Response Efforts

CoreLogic, a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, has announced the introduction of a new offering that will help emergency responders and local governments improve their emergency planning, preparedness, and response efforts in the event of a natural hazard.


EPA Administrator Announces National Grants to Train Jobseekers in Green Jobs and Clean Up of Contaminated Sites

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has announced that the EPA is awarding more than $6.2 million in national environmental workforce development and job training grants to 21 grantees to recruit, train, and place unemployed - predominantly low-income residents in polluted areas.


ChemPro100i More Capable and Easier to Use

The ChemPro100i is a handheld gas & vapor detector for the detection and classification of Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) and Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs), now updated with new features.


FCC Strengthens Enhanced 911 Location Accuracy Requirements for Wireless Services

The Federal Communications Commission has taken action to: (a) enhance the public's ability to contact emergency services during times of crisis; and (b) enable public safety personnel to obtain more accurate information about the location of the caller. Specifically, the Commission strengthened the Enhanced 911 (E911) location accuracy rules for wireless carriers and has requested comments on improving both 911 availability and E911 location determination for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.


Responder Funding: FEMA & Other Federal Preparedness Grants

by Cortney Streets -

Total preparedness is perhaps impossible in the Age of Terrorism - and, it seems, of a major increase in the number and scope of natural disasters. But at least partial preparedness is not only feasible but politically and operationally mandatory as well. As always, preparedness starts with planning - and in the United States, at least, is facilitated and strongly encouraged by financial grants.


Evaluating the Effectiveness of Grants - The Anatomy of Success

by Dianne L. Thorpe & Kristen N. Koch -

Contrary to what some citizens believe, federal preparedness grants are not "free money." Applying for such grants takes months of advance planning, hard work and close cooperation between and among numerous agencies, and a meticulous attention to detail at all times. Here is a helpful road map that may not guarantee success but will make it much more likely.


A Three-Question Approach to Grants

by Joseph Cahill -

"Is the Grant a Good Fix?" "What Will It Take to Implement the Grant?" "What Are the Estimated Continuing Costs of the Project?" Those not-so-easy questions should be asked long before a grant is requested. The answers may at times be discouraging, but not nearly as discouraging as losing a grant because the questions were not asked - and answered - in advance, and in considerable detail.


Cassidian Communications Notification System Successfully Used During FEMA National Level Exercise

During the weeklong exercise, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) activated The Communicator! NXT system eight different times - the first of which took place at the event's start. Within 2½ minutes, over 1,000 persons in 17 different groups were contacted via email and phone, each receiving details related to NLE activities. Subsequent activations of The Communicator! NXT system provided secure multimodal notification - i.e., via work phones, landlines, numeric pagers, etc. - to FEMA personnel, quickly mobilizing teams and gathering crucial feedback.


Raytheon Awarded Nation's First Competitive Public Safety LTE Broadband Communications Network Contract

Raytheon Company RTN has been awarded the first competitive Public Safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) contract in the nation. The system will become part of the nationwide public safety LTE network that will provide broadband data services to all levels of first responders throughout the county.


EPA Proposes Safeguards for Hazardous Waste Recycling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new safeguards for recycling hazardous materials to protect public health and the environment. These safeguards will improve the accountability for and oversight of hazardous materials recycling, while allowing for important flexibilities that will promote its economic and environmental benefits.


Houston's New Alarm Response Program Projects Annual Savings of $1-2 Million

The Houston Emergency Center (HEC) has implemented a revolutionary computer-aided dispatch system (CAD) communications system - the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) - that will offer an innovative and cost-effective way to process information from alarm-monitoring stations needing emergency dispatch.


Virtual Incident Training at Its Best - RescueSim Introduces New Advanced Features

RescueSim is used for Virtual Reality training by safety and security professionals throughout the world and provides firefighters and emergency services with the most comprehensive 3D virtual incident training to date. RescueSim has specialized incident management modules dedicated to Industry, Ports, Underground Environments, Airports & Railways, both Onboard and Offshore.


Samsung's 1.3-Megapixel Camera Offers 360-Degree Panomorph Functionality

Samsung's SNB-5000 model camera now offers 360-degree viewing to increase surveillance coverage and heighten situational awareness with virtually no blind spots on live or recorded surveillance video. Combined with the ImmerVision Enables panomorph lens, the camera provides expanded coverage capabilities and improved cost efficiency.


Affordable Care Act Cuts Health Care Red Tape, Saves $12 Billion

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took the first steps to implement an Affordable Care Act provision that cuts red tape in the health care system and saves an estimated $12 billion over the next ten years. These savings come from improved use of electronic standards that will help eliminate inefficient manual processes and reduce costs. This is the first in a series of steps that will help reduce inefficient business processes by standardizing and improving electronic health care transactions.


PAXCON Protective Coatings by Line-X Earns Recommendation to Retrofit Government Buildings for Safety

LINE-X Protective Coatings, the nation's leading developer and provider of high performance protective coatings has earned a safety initiative recommendation for its PAXCON products by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to retrofit government buildings.


U.S. & Spain Sign Agreement on Science & Technology Cooperation for Homeland Security Matters

"International collaboration in science and technology is a major part of our ongoing efforts to counter threats of terrorism," said U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. "This agreement demonstrates concrete and practical steps that the United States and Spain are taking to further strengthen cooperation and to research while sharing cutting-edge technologies to ensure our mutual security."


Cassidian Communications VESTA CS Solution Now Rated 'Avaya Compliant'

The VESTA CS solution is a server-based, full-featured IP PBX specifically designed for emergency call centers. It combines the Cassidian Communications proven computer telephony integration (CTI) solution, VESTA®, with the Avaya Communication Server 1000. The VESTA CS solution also features sophisticated call routing; automatic call distribution (ACD) with options including queue-based, skills based and Network ACD; and enhanced administrative control capabilities.


HHS Grants Boost Disaster Preparedness in Hospitals, Health Care Systems

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $352 million to continue improving the disaster preparedness of hospitals and health care systems within every state, and in three large metropolitan areas. These Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grants support preparedness activities for hospitals and health care facilities, including medical surge capabilities, in communities across the nation.


CBP Offers Summer Travel Tips - 'Know Before You Go'

As the summer travel season is underway, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is providing summer travelers with travel tips to assist with their cross border travel. The CBP has implemented many important initiatives designed to facilitate travel while, at the same time, improving U.S. border security.