june 2017

Updates

Junior Navy Scientists and Engineers Make Early Warning CBR Detection Via UAVs a Reality

The Sly Fox program worked to make the warfighter’s urgent need for an early warning chemical, biological, radiological (CBR) detection capability – adaptable to various unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – a reality. The modular CBR detection system accommodates multiple sensor modules across multiple UAV platforms, enabling sailors to better protect themselves from the increasing frequency of CBR attacks by relaying threat data to command and control assets.

Updates

A Simple Solution to Protect Critical Infrastructure

Natural disasters, such as a hurricane, tornado, or super storm, can inflict severe damage to infrastructure, especially underground subways. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has a solution in the form of a giant inflatable plug that will seal off subway tunnels and stop water from flowing throughout the subway system into stations and other subway lines.

Healthcare

Fit for Duty: The Resilient Responder

by Anthony S. Mangeri Sr. -

The term “fit for duty” in modern firefighting goes beyond being physically fit to include being resilient to the stress and emotional effects of the job. For individual resilience, this means having the ability to prepare for and recover from stressful events so the responder can return to duty with some sense of normality. To accomplish this, responders must sleep well, eat right, and positively engage with peers.

Commentary

Success or Failure of a Response: There Are Options

by Catherine L. Feinman -

The success or failure of an emergency response depends on many factors: planning, capabilities, training, tools, funding, public trust, and the list goes on. This edition of the DomPrep Journal examines potential points of failure as well as formulas for success when responding to a crisis.

Updates

FirstNet and AT&T Advance Nationwide Broadband Network for Public Safety; Release Buildout Plans for States and Territories

FirstNet and AT&T provided U.S. states and territories with individual State Plans to enable the rapid deployment of this first-of-its-kind FirstNet network. The network will modernize public safety communications and provide first responders with technologies to help them save lives and protect communities.

Preparedness

Facial Recognition Making an Appearance in Public Safety

by Rodrigo (Roddy) Moscoso -

The use of facial recognition (FR) technologies to support public safety has long been considered a potent tool for law enforcement. The capability to automatically identify persons of interest in real-time has the potential to alert police of threats before an incident occurs. Long considered a technology of science fiction, FR is finally moving into the public safety mainstream with new capabilities now being rolled out.

Resilience

The True Test of a Successful Crisis Response: Public Trust

by W. Craig Fugate -

No organization, or government, can solve every problem. There will always be a crisis that will require an emergency response. And fundamental to the success of that response will be the public’s reaction. Emergency managers can react and can mobilize, but they will not be successful unless they do so in such a way as to ensure the public trust. This was apparent in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina, which was a crisis of government.

Reports

Health Sector Resilience Checklist for High-Consequence Infectious Diseases – Informed by the Domestic US Ebola Response

This evidence-informed checklist outlines action steps for medical and public health authorities, in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and private industry, to assess and strengthen the resilience of their community's health sector in the face of Ebola or other high-consequence infectious diseases.

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Updates

NIST Awards $38.5 Million to Accelerate Public Safety Communications Technologies

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded $38.5 million to 33 research and development (R&D) projects aimed at advancing broadband communications technologies for first responders.

Updates

Fully Covered

U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) has partnered with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Battelle Memorial Institute, and Priority Designs, to develop an improved neck-up personal protective equipment (PPE) concept. The new concept will improve the interface where a warfighter’s protective mask and hood meet, in order to provide greater protection from exposure to chemical and biological warfare agents.

Commentary

Cuts to U.S. Bioterror Funds Risk Peril in Event of Attack

by Daniel M. Gerstein -

President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget would eliminate a Department of Homeland Security laboratory dedicated to countering bioterrorism and providing the science behind response and recovery efforts should an attack occur. The proposal to eliminate this lab without creating replacement capabilities elsewhere could place the U.S. at risk at a time when biotechnology proliferation is increasing access to the knowledge and capabilities for developing bioterror weapons.

Preparedness

Ham Radio in Emergency Operations

by Steve Aberle -

Many people grew up hearing about disasters in far-off lands and how amateur (ham) radio operators were initially the only means of contact with the outside world. Disasters, both near and far, still occur today, and ham radio operators continue to volunteer their skills and personal radio equipment to serve the public. From a planning and operations perspective, emergency management professionals must effectively include these volunteer resources into comprehensive emergency management plans (CEMPs).

Updates

New RightAnswer.com Service Makes Chemical, Health, and Safety Information Free to U.S. First Responders

RightAnswer.com has launched a new service that makes subscription to its extensive collection of environmental, health, safety, hazard, and regulatory compliance information completely free to first responders throughout the United States.

Updates

Farpointe Provides First Cybersecurity Vulnerability Checklist for Contactless Cards & Readers

Farpointe Data has posted the first radio frequency identification(RFID) Cybersecurity Vulnerability Checklist for access control manufacturers, distributors, integrators and end users to use to protect their access control systems from becoming hacker gateways to their facilities and IT systems.

Updates

New York Medical College Announces Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters

New York Medical College (NYMC) announces a new Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters. The center is the first of its kind in the Mid-Hudson Region and is a major advance in the fight against chemical and biological terrorism.

Reports

Pandemic Influenza Plan - 2017 Update

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the 2017 Update to the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan to highlight and build upon the successes of the last decade, and make clear the additional efforts needed to improve pandemic preparedness. The capacity and capabilities developed for pandemic influenza preparedness will enable HHS to respond more effectively to other emerging infectious diseases. 

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Updates

Marine Corps Modernizing Emergency Response Capabilities Across the Corps

Marine Corps bases worldwide are gaining increased emergency response capabilities with the implementation of the Consolidated Emergency Response System (CERS). CERS standardizes emergency dispatching capabilities and provides emergency first responders with enhanced command and coordination to support all hazardous response missions aboard Marine Corps installations.

Resilience

Why NIMS Continuing Education Is Needed

by Randall Hanifen -

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Framework are very important and overall well-constructed documents despite some past failures related to their implementation. However, one common denominator in disaster failures or successes is the people involved and the education and training of those personnel. Although federal mandates provide requirements for an initial certification, to date, no required refresher training exists. This article analyzes reasons that the NIMS Incident Command System (ICS) annual recertification should be required to maintain NIMS compliance.

Resilience

Using Core Capabilities to Build County Resilience

by Allen King -

The lack of core capability guidance diminishes counties’ levels of preparedness and resilience and is a barrier to increasing these efforts for the nation as a whole. By using community associations as force multipliers, counties can leverage this valuable resource to increase resilience-building efforts beginning at the local level. This bottom-up approach builds not only physical but social resilience at all levels.

Updates

908 Devices Introduces Next-Generation HPMS Device for the First Responder Community

908 Devices announced the release of MX908™, a second-generation handheld chemical detection and identification device powered by the company’s patented high-pressure mass spectrometry (HPMS) technology. The MX908 is designed for true trace-level detection and identification across a variety of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive (CBRNE), and hazardous material response missions.

Updates

New Training Aims to Improve Operational Security at U.S. Border

Drug smugglers, human traffickers, illegal immigrants, and even potential terrorists crossing the United States border do their best to cover their tracks. It is the responsibility of the United States Border Patrol (USBP) to pursue and apprehend these individuals. USBP asked the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s First Responders Group to develop training to assist in increasing tracking abilities.

Updates

CBP Deploys Biometric Exit Technology to Washington Dulles International Airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the deployment of facial recognition biometric exit technology at Washington Dulles International Airport for one daily flight from the United States to Dubai. The deployment builds on a June 2016 pilot at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport using facial recognition. Future deployments of the technology are planned for additional airports in summer 2017.

Reports

Joint Criminal and Epidemiological Investigations Handbook-2016 International Edition

This handbook was developed to facilitate the use of resources and maximize communication and interaction among law enforcement and public health. This effort minimizes potential barriers during a biological threat response.

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Updates

New Center Highlights UNMC's Work in Infectious Diseases, Biodefense Research

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents voted to establish the Global Center for Health Security at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The Global Center will build on the vast work already being done at the Medical Center and further enhance the university’s health security and biodefense capabilities in clinical care, education, training, clinical research, and basic science research in infectious diseases.

Updates

FLIR Announces FLIR Griffin G510 Portable Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer for Chemical Hazard Identification

FLIR Systems, Inc. announced the Griffin G510 Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS), its first person-portable chemical identifier. The FLIR Griffin G510 enables military and civil responders to easily sample all phases of matter, including solid, liquid, and vapor, to rapidly identify chemical hazards in the field.

Updates

New Vector Control Response Seen as Game-Changer

The spread of Zika virus disease, the resurgence of dengue, and the emerging threat from chikungunya were results of weak mosquito control policies from the 1970s. During that decade, funding and efforts for vector control were greatly reduced. Over the past year, the World Health Organization has spearheaded a new strategic approach to reprioritize vector control.

Preparedness

Anatomy of a National Special Security Event

by Christopher T. Geldart -

There have been 56 National Special Security Events (NSSEs) since Presidential Directive 62 designated the category in 1998, 32 of which have been hosted in Washington, D.C. The most recent NSSEs have been the 2017 Inauguration, the 2017 President’s Address to the Joint Session of Congress, and the 2015 World Meeting of Families, which involved a visit to the District by Pope Francis. Local jurisdictions hosting such events must evaluate and plan for both the opportunities and challenges they may face.

Updates

Igniting a New Trend in Public Safety

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns. Lessening the risk to property and lives during wildfires is a primary purpose of prescribed burns.

Reports

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office for Bombing Prevention-Counter IED Resources Guide

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) recently published its newest Counter Improvised Explosive Device (Counter-IED) Resources Guide. The mission of the OBP is to protect life and critical infrastructure by building capabilities within the public population and across the public and private sectors to prevent, protect against, respond to, and mitigate bombing incidents. 

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Updates

FEMA Encourages People to Prepare Now for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season has started, and there is no better time to get ready than now. There is a lot of information available to help individuals and communities prepare. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages residents and businesses across the nation to prepare by understanding their risk, planning together for the entire family, and downloading the FEMA mobile application.

Reports

The Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense: 2017 Annual Report to Congress

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Chemical and Biological Defense Program Enterprise develops and acquires capabilities that allow the Joint Force to deter, prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) threats and effects within a layered and integrated defense. This report assesses DoD’s overall readiness to fight and win in a CB warfare environment. 

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Commentary

More Threats, More Interdependence, More Collaboration

by Catherine Feinman -

All disasters may begin locally, but their effects and resource needs can span jurisdictions and can even have national implications. This edition of the DomPrep Journal examines ways to protect critical infrastructure and communities from widespread catastrophe.

Updates

DERMaL eToolkit

Emergency response personnel are often at risk of skin exposure to dangerous chemicals. The goal of the DERMaL eToolkit is to provide informational resources and tools associated with dermal exposures to chemicals. The resources and tools are used for hazard assessments associated with dermal contact with chemicals during emergency response activities.