Public Health and Medical Interoperability Challenges

Rapid advances in telemedicine and in the computerization of medical records are now the norm, but are made extremely complicated by – well, by other rapid advances in telemedicine and in the computerization of medical records. Additional breakthroughs are still possible, and highly desired. The pace of progress should perhaps

Manmade Disasters: The Need for Interoperable Communications

The mounting of a successful response to a major disaster requires the combined skills of firefighters, emergency managers, policemen, and other experienced professionals. It helps considerably, though, if they can talk to one another – ask anyone who lived through the London subway bombings, the Rhode Island nightclub fire, or

45 Seconds of Danger, a Lifetime of Lessons

The EF5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, during the evening of 22 May 2011 was among the deadliest in U.S. history. More than 140 persons died, over 1,000 were injured, and thousands of others were left homeless. In addition, it has been estimated that the cost to “rebuild” Joplin could

The Public Health Role During Mass-Fatality Incidents

Many major disasters start without warning, continue for periods ranging from mere seconds to weeks or months, and leave behind a chaotic mass of useless rubble and ruined lives. The work of public health agencies necessarily starts well before the first tremor, continues through the entire response/recovery/resilience process, and

FINAL REPORT: CBRN – BioSurveillance Programs

Experts are in agreement that an effective biosurveillance program is needed to protect the nation’s health, farm animals, agriculture and agricultural products of all types, and food supply. This report provides valuable information for responders, receivers, planners, and managers – and the American people at large.

Changing Trends in Maritime Piracy: A New & Major Threat

The plots and successes of recent “pirate” movies notwithstanding, the real, totally ruthless, and well armed pirates of the 21st century must be recognized for what they really are: thieves, cutthroats, and murderers – who are now working with terrorist groups. That evil coalition must be confronted fully, fearlessly, and

Mass Evacuation of Medical and Functional Needs Populations

It is reasonable to expect that, when the population of a community – or nation – grows, the need for a mass evacuation of some type will grow at the same pace. That need increases exponentially, though: (a) when catastrophic weather events occur with greater frequency; and/or (b) in the

Hospitals & Fire Departments: Three-Alarm Fires, MSH & Best-Practice Results

A major fire in one of the nation’s finest hospitals led quickly to: (a) the massive evacuation of almost 450 patients; and (b) numerous follow-up meetings to find out what had gone wrong and how to handle such incidents more quickly, and more effectively, in the future. The end result

TRANSCAER Launches Online Safety Training

TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) has launched its first-ever Anhydrous Ammonia Training online training program to educate and train officials across the country on emergency responses to anhydrous ammonia incidents.

Critical Issues Faced by MRC in a Special Needs Shelter

The chill wind that started on 31 January immobilized a major area of the country and brought ice, snow, sleet, and misery to 100 million Americans. Among the hardest hit were numerous special-needs patients, already incapacitated, waiting for help that came far too late or, in some cases, not at all.

Whole-Body Imaging: A Safe Alternative to the ‘Pat Down’

Several myths to the contrary notwithstanding, the new WBI passenger screening booths installed at U.S. airports to improve in-flight security are not only extremely safe but also both visually and morally unobjectionable. For those not convinced, there are other options, including a quick and unobtrusive pat down – in a

Public Health Monitoring Systems: Two ‘Good Stories’

New Jersey calls on Hippocrates to help top officials cope with a major mass-casualty incident with significant international implications; the initial result was a burning success. In Tarrant County, Texas, NACCHO and school nurses put the emphasis on children in fighting the flu and both detecting and controlling the outbreak


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