The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded $5.6 million to strengthen the role of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in rural America. SAMHSA’s Rural EMS Training Grant will fund the recruitment and training of EMS personnel in rural areas, with a particular focus on addressing mental health and substance use disorders in emergency settings.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is establishing the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE). This is the first office of its kind at the national level to address climate change and health equity. The OCCHE's mission is to protect vulnerable communities who disproportionately bear the brunt of pollution and climate-driven disasters, such as drought and wildfires, at the expense of public health.
Slow production methods and reliance on a global supply chain currently limit Department of Defense (DoD) access to critical proteins such as medical countermeasures (MCMs; i.e., antibodies, vaccines, and clotting factors), diagnostic components, and key enzymes for producing nucleic acids. To address these challenges, the Reimagining Protein Manufacturing (RPM) program aims to establish the foundational technologies needed for fully distributed, on-demand manufacturing of biologics-based MCMs and their associated raw materials.
The First Aid for Severe Trauma (FAST™) training program is now available to organizations and individuals seeking education on handling a life-threatening bleeding emergency. FAST is a Stop the Bleed® course funded with grant support from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and developed by the Uniformed Services University’s National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health in collaboration with the American Red Cross.
As wildfire fronts advance through landscapes or communities on the ground, they also attack from above, launching volleys of glowing embers into the air. Also known as firebrands, these specks of burning debris can glide for up to 40 kilometers (approximately 24 miles) before landing and can cause up to 90% of home and business fires during wildfires. Guidance on fending off ember attacks is sparse, largely because so little is known about embers’ behavior. But a new instrument, dubbed an emberometer, could offer a glimpse at their true nature.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a new center designed to advance the use of forecasting and outbreak analytics in public health decision making. The Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics will bring together next-generation public health data, expert disease modelers, public health emergency responders, and high-quality communications. The new center will accelerate access to and use of data for public health decision-makers who need information to mitigate the effects of disease threats.
To assist public safety agencies, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) created the Public Safety Communications and Cyber Resiliency Toolkit to provide guidance and resources supporting the ability of communications networks to withstand damage and minimize the likelihood of a service outage. The toolkit is intended to identify and address emergent trends and issues, consolidate resources, educate stakeholders at all levels of government, and propose mitigations to enable resilient public safety communications.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced the standup of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), a new agency effort to lead the development of cyber defense operations plans, and to execute those plans in coordination with partners from the federal interagency, private sector, and state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT) government stakeholders to drive down risk before an incident and to unify defensive actions should an incident occur.
Emergency responders face a variety of physical and behavioral health challenges every day. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) provides free tools and resources to help fire and emergency medical services departments foster a safety culture and support the mental and physical health of their members.
With the 2021 hurricane season in effect, emergency managers, shelter managers, and public health professionals are taking measures to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19 among people who seek safety in a disaster shelter during severe weather events. Find tips and resources to help prepare and lower the risk of infection while staying safe in a shelter.