Most recently published

Lessons Learned: A Major Educational Resource

In the middle of an Area Maritime Security Committee meeting, a facility security officer wonders out loud why it is so difficult to coordinate and disseminate information about terrorist activities, particularly in the maritime field, between all of the government agencies and private-sector entities that have a legitimate “need to
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Homeland Defense Begins at Home!

The Department of Homeland Defense and American Red Cross are leading the way, but true national preparedness requires an all-hands effort starting with teachers and students, parents, first responders, businessmen and factory workers, the media and the m
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Ludwig Benner: The Father of Modern HAZMAT Thinking?

In the late 1960’s, far too many firefighters were dying in the line of duty when the fires were fighting involved hazardous materials. One man, Ludwig Benner, realized that changes were needed, both in the way firefighters were being trained and in the
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Virginia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin

Virginia Develops free emergency resources for businesses, but imposes security fees on incoming oceanborne cargoA new online resource – the Virginia Business Emergency Survival Toolkit (available at www.vaemergency.com/business) – has been developed by a group of emergency organizations in Virginia that includes information and other resources that the state’s businesses can use
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Asymmetric Warfare: Redefining Standard Terms

Chaos and confusion reign not just on the battlefield but also, particularly in recent times, in policy pronouncements, position papers, and the public consciousness. Principal problem is a proliferation of acronyms meaning almost the same thing – but not
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yellow board with announcement of toxic and dangerous area on background of two contemporary scientists in blue protective coveralls

CERFPs: A New Resource for Emergency Response

The National Guard creates new units to deal with mass disasters. After the first responders come the WMD-CST teams, and behind them, providing a second protective shield for the American people, come the twelve CEFRP units, stationed in FEMA regions thro
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Michigan, New York, Washington, and Florida

Michigan plays a perfect game before defending the Great Lakes; New York considers the purchase of an advanced helicopter for firefighting, rescue operations; the state of Washington conducts its first bioterrorism exercise; and Florida sets aside a speci
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Coming Soon: A National EMS Administration?

Today’s EMS community is a full partner on the nation’s homeland-security first-responder team, but gets short shrift in funding, in representation at the White House and on Capitol Hill, and in media attention. One way to even out the playing field might be to establish a national office representing city,
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Guest Commentary: Resolving

GenPrime V.P. suggests a new paradigm for the handling of emergency calls – many of them hoaxes – reporting the presence of anthrax-like substances that might be cornstarch, baby powder, or coffee creamer. Or anthrax. The use of on-site broad-spectrum screen can be used to determine a “threat/no threat” result for all potential
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Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, and Kansas

Oklahoma continues to provide more resources for first responders and counterterrorism personnel; new partnerships in homeland security and emergency preparedness formed in Texas; Indiana agencies address suspicious activity and fraud; Kansas responders.
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ALPR Systems and How They Grew

Crime-fighting goes high-tech with the introduction and increasing use of affordable, relatively compact, and user-friendly OCR and ALPR technology. Today, speeders are the most likely target. Tomorrow and the day after it will be known criminals and/or s
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A Long Tradition of Voluntary National Service

The recent spate of articles and commentaries about the “Minuteman” group that, without invitation, helped the U.S. Border Patrol apprehend over 300 illegal migrants is a timely reminder that other citizen groups have provided significant homeland-defense
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“The Week That Was” in Washington, D.C.

Orders to “Run for your life!” were followed in short order by the announcement of new port-security grants and the Pentagon’s latest list of base closings, consolidations, and realignments. All three became major national stories, and all are related – i
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SNL and Merlin: A New Way to Look at Decontamination

The war against bioterrorism moves forward – at less than flank speed – from the water-based decon agents of the 1990s to faster and much more effective peroxide-based solutions that can be used to deactivate biological pathogens and TICs as well as the CW agents.
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The What and Wherefores of Bio-Terrorism

A complex amalgam of rules, regulations, data-collection sources and resources, and numerous other complicating factors will determine the success or failure of plans – already implemented, or still in the planning stage – to counter terrorist attacks.
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Dirty Bombs: The Impossible Becomes Probable

Surplus uranium, inadequate controls, and undetected smuggling are the key ingredients of a future nuclear disaster on U.S. soil. Today, almost any nation in the world is capable of building Hiroshima-sized nuclear devices, RDDs, and/or dirty bombs.
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Missouri, Rhode Island, and Nevada

Missouri, Rhode Island, and Nevada By Anthony Lanzillotti Missouri Funeral Directors seek help with PPE funding Funeral home directors in Missouri have asked the state to help them obtain federal funding for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE). The request came after a recent meeting of the directors to discuss
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Ohio, California and Minnesota

A dirty bomb is hidden inside a vessel at a port facility somewhere on Lake Erie. SWAT teams, more than 180 first responders, and a large number of EMS student victims are among the many-splendored participants in an extended counter-terrorism exercise at Ohio Tests Lake Erie Dirty-Bomb Scenario Just two weeks
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Ohio, Hawaii, California, and Minnesota

  Ohio Just two weeks before the large “TOPOFF3” exercise tapped major resources in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the state of Ohio held a small tabletop exercise focusing on the threat of a sea borne radiological dispersal device. The scenario included a “dirty bomb” hidden within a vessel
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Risks and Realities, Grants and Vulnerabilities

The mostly successful launch of the Department of Homeland Security has been followed, not surprisingly, by allegations of wasteful spending and a failure to establish priorities. The new team at DHS meets the challenge head-on, and is already working wit
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Upgrading an Armory: The 1033 Solution

The handgun, the shotgun, and the rifle – each has its advantages and disadvantages. But today’s law-enforcement officer needs at least one effective weapon not only to carry out his duties but also to protect himself and the thousands of innocent people
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Increases, Shortfalls, and Nightmare Scenarios

President Bush’s fiscal year 2006 budget plan calls for increased funding for port and maritime security. Some members of Congress say that that is only a start, and significant additional funds are needed – ASAP.
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Maryland, Georgia, Arizona, & Mississippi

This issue: Maryland focuses on assistance grants; Georgia assigns responsibilities to Homeland Security Task Force; Arizona continues TOPOFF4 planning; and Mississippi provides a full calendar of training options.
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The North Shore – LIJ Approach to Patient Decontamination

“Train everybody to do decon [decontamination],” says Frank Califano, safety services specialist assigned to Network Emergency Management for the North Shore – LIJ Health System in Long Island, N.Y. “Everybody includes security guards, pharmacists, dieticians, and folks from the environmental services. It takes a lot of people to set up
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Hospital Staffing for Decontamination

In the new post-9/11 world the emergency community can no longer afford the luxury of compartmentalization. Planning, cooperation, and training together all will be needed – along with additional funds.
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Needed: Smarter Security

Since 9/11, many positive steps have been taken to better protect the American people, and the U.S. homeland, from new terrorist attacks. But some of those steps have been in the wrong direction, and others were unnecessary.
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Oregon, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Kentucky

Oregon City of Portland Selected for Terrorism Exercise in 2007Portland, Ore., one of the fifteen cities that applied to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2004, has been chosen as one of two sites for the “TOPOFF4” exercise scheduled for 2007. The Oregon Office of Homeland Security (OOHS) is
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