november 2018

Updates

National Fire Academy – Emergency Medical Services: Quality Management (R0158) Course Openings

Calling all company-level officers, chief officers, and supervisors who have department-level Emergency Medical Services (EMS) quality assurance/quality improvement responsibilities. This six-day course defines the critical components, background and principles associated with the implementation, or enhancement, of a department’s Quality Management Program. Course openings are available in February 2019, May 2019, and September 2019. Register today!

Healthcare

Food Safety Alert: Recurring E. Coli Outbreaks

by Lindsay Fahnestock & Gagandeep Gill -

Food is essential to life. Its production, distribution, and consumption present unique – and increasingly urgent – economic and public health challenges. Roughly 50% of the world’s assets, 50% of global employment, and 50% of consumer expenditures are related to the food system. Closer to home, the second and third largest employers in the United States are in the food industry. About one-third of Americans eat at least one meal away from home each day. Anticipation, evaluation, and control of food-related infections and contamination are essential functions provided by the governmental public health system.

Commentary

Combating Public Health & Security Concerns

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In 2014, the United States was directly exposed to the Ebola virus, which was at that time relatively unknown on domestic soil. The nation was underprepared to manage the public relations issues associated with this scenario. Since that time, roundtables have been conducted, responder trainings have been created, and information has been disseminated to better prepare responders and inform the public. However, there is a delicate balance when informing the public of potential threats: provide enough information to mitigate new exposure risks, but do not overhype the threat.

Healthcare

Ebola Outbreak in the DRC Commentary

by The Global Health Security Alliance (GloHSA) -

On 6 November 2018, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested the current Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) might not be contained due to lack of cooperation from local communities and an unstable security situation. Assertions such as these have driven the Global Health Security Alliance, an independent network of internationals experts, to distribute a commentary about the “Ebola Outbreak in the DRC.” Driven by the shared understanding that health and security issues have increasing and interrelated global impacts, the Alliance separates facts from hyperboles in this informative document on this international public health threat.

Reports

Ebola Outbreak in the DRC Commentary

On 6 November 2018, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested the current Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) might not be contained due to lack of cooperation from local communities and an unstable security situation. Assertions such as these have driven the Global Health Security Alliance, an independent network of internationals experts, to distribute a commentary about the “Ebola Outbreak in the DRC.” Driven by the shared understanding that health and security issues have increasing and interrelated global impacts, the Alliance separates facts from hyperboles in this informative document on this international public health threat.

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Commentary

A 2017 Best Practice for Private Sector Communications

by Kathryn Howard & Ira Tannenbaum -

Coordination between the public and private sectors are essential for communicating effectively to the public during emergencies. It is important for government agencies to build relationships with private partners during “blue skies” to ensure that proper plans and messaging are in place in the event of an actual emergency. New York City (NYC) Emergency Management has worked extensively to build a robust network of private partners from various industries that can assist with the dissemination of critical information to the public before, during, and after emergencies. In 2017, NYC Emergency Management conducted a communication drill with private sector partners to test the potential reach of New York City’s emergency messaging.

Reports

2018 National Preparedness Report

The 2018 National Preparedness Report provides an overview of key developments in national preparedness – incorporating findings and lessons learned from incidents in 2017 in combination with data and inputs from federal interagency and whole community partners. Focus on emerging and persistent challenges concentrates the discussion on what the whole community – including individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and all levels of government – needs to address to increase the nation’s preparedness. 

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Updates

FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of First Ebola Fingerstick Test With Portable Reader

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that an emergency use authorization (EUA) has been issued for a rapid, single-use test for the detection of Ebola virus. This is the second Ebola rapid antigen fingerstick test available under EUA, but the first that uses a portable battery-operated reader, which can help provide clear diagnostic results outside of laboratories and in areas where patients are likely to be treated.

Updates

S&T Creates Better Drone Detection Through Machine Learning, Cameras

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Sandia National Laboratories are creating more precise drone detection capability through visuals alone. The novel temporal frequency analysis being tested at Sandia analyzes the frequency of pixel fluctuation in an image over time, eventually obtaining a “temporal frequency signature” for videoed drones.

Reports

Safety Digest: Emergency Planning and Response

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board released an emergency planning and response Safety Digest, which outlines responsibilities of first responders, companies, and communities when preparing for and responding to chemical incidents. This resource stresses the importance of preparation, training, and communication. 

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Updates

Fire Prevention & Safety Grant Application Period Opens November 12

The FY 2018 Fire Prevention and Safety grant application period will open at 8 a.m. ET Monday, 12 November 2018 and will close on Friday, 21 December 2018 at 5 p.m. ET. The Fire Prevention and Safety Grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards.

Healthcare

Courses That Mirror Real-World Ebola Outbreak

by Center for Domestic Preparedness -

When faced with cases of highly infectious diseases, emergency responders and medical receivers need to know how to protect themselves and prevent the disease from spreading to others. One training facility is focusing on this topic with courses that instruct healthcare workers and other responders about infection-control barrier guidelines and isolation protocols.

Reports

Fiscal Year 2019 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan – Biennial Plan Summary

The Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration’s (DOE/NNSA) Fiscal Year 2019 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan – Biennial Plan Summary describes DOE/NNSA’s plans to ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and to maintain the scientific and engineering tools, capabilities, and infrastructure that underpin the nuclear security enterprise.

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Updates

FLIR Systems Receives Development Contract Totaling $1.2M From the Department of Defense

FLIR Systems Inc. announced it has been awarded the first option phase on a five-year, cost-plus fixed fee contract by the United States Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. This option totals $1.2 million for continued development of the FLIR Agentase C2 chemical agent disclosure spray (ADS) for detection of nerve agents and a new formulation for fentanyl detection.

Updates

Evolv Technology Awarded SAFETY Act Designation for Evolv Edge™

Evolv Technology today announced Evolv Edge™, its people screening system that detects weapons and bombs, has achieved the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) SAFETY Act Designation. Following a rigorous application and due diligence process by DHS, the Evolv Edge is now a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT).

Updates

Researchers Discover Potential Antidote to Botulism

Researchers have identified a compound that strongly inhibits botulinum neurotoxin, the most toxic compound known. That inhibiting compound, nitrophenyl psoralen (NPP), could be used as a treatment to reduce paralysis induced by botulism. Botulinum neurotoxin is considered a potential bioweapon because there is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved antidote.

Updates

FDA Approval of Anti-Seizure Drug Provides a New Tool for Protecting Americans During a Chemical Attack

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug Seizalam® (midazolam injection) as an anti-seizure medication, protects Americans from a potentially deadly health effect of chemical weapons. Having this drug, developed by Meridian Medical Technologies, available in multi-use vials makes drug administration easier in emergencies involving a large number of people exposed to chemicals that cause prolonged seizures.

Resilience

The Importance of Swift Water Rescue Teams

by Allison G. S. Knox -

Emergency management is a complex, collaborative network of agencies, levels of government, nonprofit organizations, and volunteers coming together following a disaster. In addition to general plans and practices that can be applied to many emergency responses, some emergencies require more specialized training that may not be available in every jurisdiction. Swift water rescue teams are assets that may be needed now more than ever.

Updates

New Virtual Tool Gives Responders, Educators an “EDGE” on School Safety

First responders and educators now have a tool at their disposal to help ensure the safety of the nation’s schools, as well as the students and faculty within them. The Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE), a virtual training platform, allows teachers, school staff, law enforcement officers, and others tasked with school security to create and practice response plans for a wide range of critical incidents.

Reports

Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities: National Standards for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Public Health

The 2018 Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities: National Standards for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Public Health recognizes the maturity and experience jurisdictional public health emergency preparedness and response programs have gained since 2011. The document describes the components necessary to advance jurisdictional public health preparedness and response capacity.

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Updates

CU Researchers Provide Resource for Patient Care in Chemical and Biological Attacks

The neurologic effects and treatment options for exposure to biologic and chemical agents are outlined in a newly published article by neurologists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine who collaborated on the article with military physicians. The authors describe how to recognize, diagnose, treat, and report exposures to anthrax, botulism, brucella, plague, smallpox, organophosphates, nerve agents, cyanide, or carfentanil.

Updates

FDA Approves New Drug to Treat Influenza

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza (flu) in patients 12 years of age and older who have been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. When patients with the flu are treated within 48 hours of becoming sick, antiviral drugs can reduce symptoms and duration of the illness.