march 2011


Indiana Hospital District Selects DisasterNet

The Indiana District One hospital partnership, DisastersNet, will provide its Disaster Incident Management System (DIMS) and Incident Action Plan (IAP) technologies. Used by more than 100 hospitals across the nation, these technologies automate a healthcare facility's "incident management" services - i.e., the protocols and procedures that hospitals follow to manage emergency and other non-regular incidents that may occur within the organization.


American Red Cross Announces Next Generation of CPR & First Aid Courses

The American Red Cross has announced the launch of the next generation of Red Cross health and safety training. The new training features a two-year certification program for first aid and CPR training, and other cost and time-saving benefits for course participants and instructors. That training is available through a variety of flexible delivery options, including classroom, online, and blended learning alternatives.


CBRNE Preparedness - The Necessary Prerequisites

by Stephen Grainer -

It is taking longer than originally anticipated, but U.S. policies and plans to cope with future CBRNE incidents, accidental or manmade, are not only being published and implemented at the federal level (then revised and updated - if, as, and when needed) but also being replicated, in operational specifics, at the state and local levels of government as well.


National Level Exercise Roundtable

by Kay C. Goss -

In the early 1800s, the New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in the southeast corner of Missouri, was the site of the largest earthquake in U.S. history. The question is not if another quake will occur in that area, but when will it happen. Listen to Kay Goss's roundtable discussion on National Level Exercise 2011, which will address this pressing concern and help the nation be better prepared for the next "big one."


Senator Claire McCaskill Hosts Capitol Hill Readiness Briefing

March 31 Briefing will focus on how the Safe America Foundation hopes to increase the disaster preparedness of American citizens in advance of future "mega disasters"


Thales First Responder Multiband Radio Receives Intrinsic Safe Certification

Thales Communications, Inc. has announced that its LibertyTM Multiband Land Mobile Radio (LMR) has been certified to the Factory Mutual (FM) Approval Standard 3610:1988 for Intrinsic Safe equipment. Intrinsic Safe ensures that the radio can be operated in an explosive environment, that it will not trigger ignition in the presence of flammable or combustible material.


EPA Releases U.S. - Mexico Border Environmental and Health Report

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mexico's Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment have just released the Border 2012 Accomplishment Report for 2010. The report highlights projects taking place within border communities through the Border 2012 program that ensures the protection of people's health.


North Dakota Bolsters Natural Disaster Preparedness with Purchase of AmbuBus Kits for Mass Casualty Transport

"This is another statewide department of health that sees the benefits of deploying and keeping AmbuBus Kits on hand," explained First Line Technology President Amit Kapoor. "The North Dakota Department of Health understands that disasters don't always occur only in disaster-prone areas like the Gulf states. The AmbuBus is a proven effective product that allows for expansion of any state or locality's mass evacuation capabilities."


The Complex Biology of Chemical Threats

by Diana Hopkins -

Chemicals are chemicals and biologicals are biologicals, but there are some substances - particularly useful in terrorist attacks - that are a little bit of both. Here is a short list of some but by no means all of these potentially lethal substances now receiving greater attention not only from terrorist planners but also from CDC and the U.S. emergency-responder community.


CBRNE: Warnings Heard, But Not Heeded

by Richard Schoeberl -

Question #1: Is the United States prepared to cope with new terrorist attacks in which CBRNE weapons are used to destroy the nation's critical infrastructure and kill thousands of U.S. citizens at the same time? Answer: Not yet, but policy guidelines have been established and the long-range planning process has started. Question #2: Is there anything else that should be done?


Bruker Expands Remote Infrared Gas Detection and Analysis Capabilities

Bruker is launching its expanded product line for the remote infrared detection of hazardous gases in industrial, environmental, and homeland-security applications. The new Bruker SIGIS 2 (Scanning Infrared Gas Imaging System) is a scanning imaging remote sensing system based on the combination of an infrared spectrometer with a single-detector element and a scanner system.


Avon Protection Expands North American Presence

Avon Protection recently celebrated the grand opening of its new facility in Belcamp, MD. This expansion will help the company provide the highest level of support to meet DoD's needs.


Concepts on Information Sharing and Interoperability

by John M. Contestabile -

The distinguished former director of Maryland's DOT Engineering & Emergency Services presents his knowledgeable views on the effective use of design to improve and facilitate not only all-hazards long-range planning but also incident-response capabilities and on-site effectiveness.


Public Works Emergency Management - From Training to Reality

by David Geary & Tracy Fessler -

For understandable reasons, major disasters - e.g., earthquakes and tsunamis - get most of the headlines and more of the public funds available even in economically difficult times. Local jurisdictions would be well advised, therefore, not only to focus greater attention on emergencies closer to home but also to ask for neighborly assistance if and when needed.


Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Tragedies in Japan, Effects on U.S. Food Imports

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commented on the recent tragedies in Japan and reassures the American public that at this time there are no real threats from Japanese imports, which must still meet the safety standards of the United States.


DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces Launch of E-Verify Self Check

"E-Verify is a smart, simple, and effective tool that allows us to work with employers to help them maintain a legal workforce," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. "The E-Verify Self Check service will help protect workers and streamline the E-Verify process for businesses."


UNDT Enters Into Agreement With U.S. Department of Commerce to Market Its Radiological Detection Equipment

In the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan, Universal Detection Technology (UNDT), a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect against biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats, will market the company's radiation detection technology through its agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Commercial Service.


Evergreen Fire & Security Awarded $250M Electronic Security Systems Prime Contract From USACE

The program under contract, known as Electronic Security Systems V (ESS V) Restricted Suite, is managed and supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from the Electronic Security Center (ESC), in Huntsville, Alabama. The mission of the ESC is to provide a wide range of electronic security system services to U.S. government agencies across the globe. These services are designed to improve/upgrade physical security, life safety, force protection, anti-terrorism, and vulnerability reduction.


Effective Immediately, Scott Health & Safety Is Now Scott Safety

The new brand reflects the company's unified and strategic corporate direction as a global leader that for decades has combined innovation with stability, heritage, and resourcefulness combined with the experience needed to deliver safety protection equipment and solutions. The brand is built on three promises that define Scott Safety's corporate philosophy and the value it delivers to its customers: innovating with purpose; providing solutions that are smart; and putting the customer first - always.


DHS Secretary Napolitano's Remarks at U.S.-Mexico Congressional Border Issues Conference

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano delivered remarks at the Annual U.S.-Mexico Congressional Border Issues Conference - highlighting the continuing partnership between the United States and Mexico to ensure mutual security while facilitating trade and travel along the U.S. Southwest border.


Harris Corporation & Johns Hopkins Medicine Announce Joint Venture to Develop Innovative Medical Image Management Solutions

Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company, and Johns Hopkins Medicine have announced a joint venture to develop next-generation medical image management solutions. The collaboration brings together Harris's industry-leading health information and security technologies with Johns Hopkins' renowned clinical expertise to fuel innovations in medical image management.


Implementing the National Health Security Strategy

by Dr. Craig Vanderwagen, M.D., RADM, USPHS (Retired) -

A distinguished former HHS official explores the major policy, budgetary, and operational factors involved in protecting not only the continued good health of the American people but also the post-incident resilience of U.S. cities, states, "and the United States as a whole." In Upp Technology Inc.'s five-part white-paper series, Dr. Vanderwagen also focuses on a broad spectrum of such related topics as mandatory interventions, logistics management, and the importance of advance planning.


Finding Comfort Around the World

by Catherine Feinman -

It is a ship, a hospital, a floating embassy. More specifically, "It" is the hospital ship USNS Comfort, one of the nation's least publicized but most effective naval/military/diplomatic assets better known overseas, perhaps, than at home. Come aboard for a quick tour, then "request permission to leave the ship, Sir" - which you will do with an overwhelming feeling of pride, patriotism, and compassion.


FEMA & NDRN Sign Agreement to Strengthen Emergency Management Collaboration

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) have signed a memorandum of agreement that further strengthens their growing partnership to ensure that the access and functional needs of people with disabilities are incorporated into all aspects of planning for, responding to, and recovering from disasters.


Ramon Nazario Joins ILC Dover PPE Sales Team

Ramon graduated from the Universidad De Puerto Rico and has spent most of his career selling Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers and first responders. He also has served as a volunteer Hazmat Specialist for the USAR-PRTF1 and is currently a consultant to that unit; he has assisted during a number of major disasters including the response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks - during which he was stationed on-site in New York City.


New Robot System to Test 10,000 Chemicals for Toxicity

Several federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, have unveiled a new high-speed robot-screening system that will test 10,000 different chemicals for potential toxicity. Introduction of the system marks the beginning of a new phase of an ongoing collaboration, referred to as Tox21, that is designed to protect human health by improving the ways chemicals are tested in the United States.


Environics Oy in Joint Venture With IUT GmbH

Environics Oy - a world leader in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) detection systems for government and security markets - announces its joint venture with IUT Institut fuer Umwelttechnologien GmbH, based in Berlin, Germany. This agreement will not only bring new technology to Environics for its government and security business but also expand the reach of the company's capabilities into several new industrial markets.


Cassidian Communications Releases Version 1.7 of GeoCast Web Solution

Among the new features of version 1.7 of the GeoCast Web solution are: an expanded MassCall option providing high-capacity communications in large-scale events; the addition of SMS and email for improved notification capabilities; and a number of comprehensive client-requested reports.


DHS Secretary Napolitano & Canada Public Safety Minister Vic Toews Announce Release of Joint Border Threat & Risk Assessment

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Canada's Public Safety Minister Vic Toews have announced the public release of the Joint Border Threat and Risk Assessment, highlighting the U.S. and Canadian governments' commitment to identifying and mitigating potential threats of terrorism and transnational organized crime along the border shared by the two countries.


Salient Federal Solutions Acquires Command Information

Salient, a leading provider of Federal IT and engineering solutions, has announced the acquisition of Command Information and its wholly-owned subsidiary AnviCom, a premier provider of net-centric information technology services and solutions for both government and industry. This acquisition will deepen Salient's software development capability, extend its cyber security offerings, and enhance access to clients through a prime position on the ENCORE II contract vehicle.


Future Chemical Challenges: Common Operating Picture Needed to Manage Common Problems

by Michael E. Forgey -

Future chemical challenges facing the United States far into the foreseeable future will be both more frequent and more deadly than those encountered in the halcyon years of the 20th century. Which is why the time is NOW to prepare to meet those challenges head-on and, if prevention does not work, to be much better equipped to deal with the lethal aftermath.


U.S. National Security: Does the Industrial Base Still Matter

by Stephen V. Reeves -

Well, there is really only one buyer - the U.S. government. And the executive and legislative branches of that government are under extreme pressure to "cut the budget" as much and as quickly as possible. The only problem is that this year's easy choices may never be available again. But that problem, of course, can be left to the next generation. If there is one.


Lightstep's Searching Solution

Although hopes of finding more survivors in the aftermath of the New Zealand Earthquake have been fading fast, a Northern Irish company is still offering a pioneering solution - for future situations if not the present one - to post-disaster search and rescue difficulties. Lightstep Technologies, the award-winning developers of the world's first Intelligent Evacuation System, has taken the company's technology beyond evacuation and developed a system whereby victims can be located by emergency services much more swiftly.


American Red Cross Unveils Revised First Aid/CPR/AED Training

The American Red Cross has revised its First Aid/CPR/AED program, making it more convenient for people to learn how, until advanced medical help arrives, to help others in distress. The new ARC program emphasizes hands-on learning. Those participating in the program will have many training options, including training at a Red Cross chapter or an organization's own facility, taking classes online, or receiving instruction from an authorized provider.


Battelle Wins Major Defense Department Contract to Develop Medical Countermeasures

Battelle has announced the company's winning of a $36.7 million contract to support the Department of Defense (DOD) by developing medical countermeasures to chemical warfare threats. The principal focus of the contract is to assist the department in fully describing the medical effects of threat chemicals and to evaluate new antidotes and therapeutics for licensure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut

All citizens should not only be better prepared for major earthquakes but also practice how to protect themselves if and when earthquakes actually occur. The goal of the Great Central ShakeOut, which is hosted by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), is to help people and organizations meet both of these objectives.


GammaTech Adds S15C to Its Durabook Rugged Mobile Solutions

"Just because an individual works away from an office and uses...[his or her] notebook computer in a harsh environment is no reason for...[that person] not to enjoy the benefits of a notebook computer with a brilliant screen and powerful graphics," said Jen Chen, GammaTech President. "Our new rugged S15C has a very generous 15.6" display with high-definition resolution, and its many other terrific features make the S15C the perfect choice for such users."


FEMA Blog: Engaging Voluntary Agencies Before, During, and After a Disaster

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has started a new blog on the importance of voluntary agency liaisons (VALs) and how they work in close coordination with the community and the government.


DHS Announces Release of New Training Course: Workplace Security Awareness

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the availability of IS-906, Workplace Security Awareness, a no-cost training course developed by the department's Office of Infrastructure Protection Sector-Specific Agency Executive Management Office. The online training now available provides guidance to individuals and organizations on how to improve security in the workplace.


DHS Launches Month-Long Multi-Band Radio Pilot During NASCAR Events

On 23 February 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate announced the kickoff of a 30-day multi-band radio pilot for emergency responders, which began during the opening day of NASCAR events at the Phoenix International Raceway. Fifteen participating law enforcement and emergency management partners across the state will also incorporate the technology into their daily operations and provide feedback on its usefulness.


Motorola Solutions & Verizon Wireless Join Forces to Bring LTE Advantages to Public Safety Customers

Motorola Solutions and Verizon Wireless have announced the formation of an alliance to bring all the advantages of an advanced wireless communication solution to public safety customers throughout the United States. This first-of-its-kind solution combines a private public safety-controlled broadband network, tailored for mission-critical operations, with the benefits of the most extensive and reliable commercial networks in the country.


NIH Launches Summer Institute on mHealth

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the creation of the first NIH mHealth, or mobile health, Summer Institute. This week-long workshop, scheduled for the summer of 2011, will bring together leaders in mobile health technologies, behavioral science researchers, federal health officials, and numerous members of the medical community to provide early career aspirants with an opportunity to learn about mHealth research.


FLIR Systems Introduces New Multi-Modal GC/MS Instrument for Chemical Identification

The Griffin 460 mobile GC/MS (gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer) instrument is a state-of-the-art tool that enables innovative multi-modal sample introduction for liquid, solid, and vapor samples while also providing continuous and direct air monitoring. The Griffin 460 is ideal for field-based forensics and other mobile laboratory applications, as well as for integration into facility air handling systems.


When High-Tech Fails: Back to Plan B

by Joseph Cahill -

Modern communications systems are a marvel to behold - and to use. And they keep getting better, generation after generation. The only problem, though, is that they sometimes fail, for inexplicable reasons and at the worst possible times. Which is why a backup system (pen and paper, perhaps?) is still mandatory. And always will be.


Tailoring an Emergency Operations Plan

by Raphael Barishansky & Audrey Mazurek -

The old tailor's maxim - "Measure twice; cut once" - is also a suitable approach to the writing of an all-hazards Emergency Operations Plan for a health department. Here is a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide to the planning, writing, reviewing, and approval processes necessary to the drafting, development, and dissemination of an effective and workable EOP.


PlantCML Changes Name to Cassidian Communications Inc., an EADS North America Company

Plant Equipment Inc., dba PlantCML, an industry leader in mission-critical communications, has announced its official name change to Cassidian Communications Inc., an EADS North America company. As the largest and most trusted source of mission-critical communications in North America, Cassidian Communications is leading the way in standards-based 9-1-1 call center applications, notification solutions and services, and P25 land mobile radio networks.


HHS Awards Contracts to Develop New Flu Vaccine Technology

"The 2009 H1N1 pandemic demonstrated the need for technologies that can provide vaccines more rapidly," said HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "These next-generation flu vaccines hold the potential to be even more effective and to make the first and last doses of vaccine available sooner than existing flu vaccines by weeks and months...[a time span that] can save more lives during a pandemic as well as during seasonal flu outbreaks."