march 2015

Updates

Automated Radiation Measurement Station Now Operational at Virginia Department of Health Building

Tested by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, NukAlert's Automated Radiation Measurement Station (ARMS) by Apogee is now sending real-time radiation reports from the Virginia Department of Health's building in Richmond to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's RadReponder Network, which in turn reports live data needed to characterize the incident and support lifesaving decisions.

Updates

Penn State Offers Online Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security

Developed in collaboration with the Naval Postgraduate School, Penn State's online curriculum for its graduate certificate in homeland security provides an understanding of major legislation shaping homeland security policies, key actors and their interactions, planning and organizational imperatives, and impact of catastrophic events on society and on domestic and global economies.

Updates

FDA Approves Treatment for Inhalation Anthrax

Inhalational anthrax is a rare disease that can occur after exposure to infected animals or contaminated animal products, or as a result of an intentional release of anthrax spores. When spores of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis are inhaled, the anthrax bacteria replicate in the body and produce toxins that can cause massive and irreversible tissue injury and death.

Updates

Catalyst Destroys Common Toxic Nerve Agents Quickly

Northwestern University scientists have developed a robust new material, inspired by biological catalysts, that is extraordinarily effective at destroying toxic nerve agents that are a threat around the globe. The material, a zirconium-based metal-organic framework, degrades in minutes one of the most toxic chemical agents known to mankind: Soman (GD), a more toxic relative of sarin.

Updates

Hospital Surge Evaluation Tool

Mass-casualty incidents have happened throughout the country in places as large as Boston, Massachusetts, and as small as Newtown, Connecticut. Hospitals need to be ready to respond with rapid treatment, effective triage, and coordinated communications to help them respond effectively when every second counts.

Updates

PositiveID Corporation Files Additional U.S. Patent for Its Firefly Dx Real-Time PCR System

Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) chemistry in a handheld device, thereby leading to treatment scenarios at the point of need that are not possible with existing systems. This new patent application covers a PCR device to provide test results in less than 20 minutes.

Updates

HHS Seeks to Develop Improved Anthrax Vaccine

"Anthrax remains a national health security threat, and we're striving to develop an anthrax vaccine that affords immunity sooner and with fewer doses," explained Robin Robinson, Ph.D., director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). "If it works, this vaccine may help achieve better preparedness at a lower cost."

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Signs Agreements With Oxford University, GlaxoSmithKline, and NIAID for the Production of an MVA Ebola Zaire Vaccine Candidate

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has manufactured a modified vaccinia Ankara Ebola Zaire vaccine candidate (MVA EBOZ) at a 200L scale in an avian cell line. With its scalable process having the potential to meet the demand for multi-million doses in a few months, this MVA EBOZ is anticipated for use in a Phase 1 clinical study to be conducted by Professor Adrian Hill of the Jenner Institute.

Preparedness

Learning How to Provide Tactical Medical Support Under Fire

by Philip J. Beck -

At 8:16 a.m. on 16 September 2013, a shot was fired (the first of many) in Building 197 of the Washington Navy Yard. During the next 69 minutes, while at least 117 officers from eight law enforcement agencies attempt to neutralize the threat, two U.S. Park Police tactical medics and a Navy surgeon triage and treat the wounded.

Healthcare

Adrift - The No-Win Scenario in Responder Training

by Joseph Cahill -

In a training scenario, a lose-lose situation may make a lasting impression on students, but does little to improve the decision-making skills of the responders. Regularly faced with making life-or-death decisions, emergency responders should receive training that includes no-win as well as winnable alternatives, thus reflecting real-life scenarios while not deflating student confidence.

Updates

FDA Releases Final Guidance on Reprocessing of Reusable Medical Devices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced new actions to enhance the safety of reusable medical devices and address the possible spread of infectious agents between uses. The new recommendations are outlined in a final industry guidance aimed at helping device manufacturers develop safer reusable devices, especially those devices that pose a greater risk of infection.

Updates

University of Pittsburgh Offers Course on 'Epidemics, Pandemics and Outbreaks'

What can we do to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases from becoming epidemics or pandemic? In this course, offered by the University of Pittsburgh, you'll learn the facts about infectious diseases and medical responses. We'll focus on the public health laws and policies that provide the framework for effective prevention, like quarantine laws, drug development policies, and bioterrorism and biodefense.

Updates

Pfenex Exercises Glide Contract Extension for Solid Dose Formulation of Recombinant Protective Antigen

Glide Technologies recently announced a subcontract extension for the advancement of an alternative delivery method for Pfenexs recombinant Protective Antigen. "We believe that a combination of Pfenexs proprietary rPA-based anthrax vaccine and Glides novel formulations and delivery technology will address key issues with current products designed for a response to an anthrax bio-threat," stated Dr Mark Carnegie-Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Glide Technologies.

Updates

People's Health at the Center of New Global Blueprint to Reduce Disaster Risks

Ten years since adopting the Hyogo Framework for Action shortly after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, government representatives have gathered in Sendai to negotiate a new framework for global action to reduce the risks of disasters. For the first time, protecting people's health is at the center of such a framework.

Preparedness

Training Challenge - Choosing the Best Learning Approach

by Glen Rudner -

One responder sits in a classroom listening to an instructor and discussing key concepts and issues with other participants. Another responder sits at a computer during odd hours going through tutorials and posting on discussion groups. Although both types of trainings are effective, the deciding factors between instructor-led, web-based, or a combination of both trainings are personal.

Resilience

Ongoing Training Needs: Virginia's Solution

by Stephen Grainer -

In a remote rural area - far from customary amenities, distractions, and other conveniences - players are faced with challenges and must learn to adapt and overcome in order to reap the benefits, otherwise face the consequences. No, this is not a reality television show, but it is an effective "reality" training model that Virginia has perfected to ensure that its emergency responders are prepared to take command if and when needed.

Updates

BioFire Defense Appoints Christina M. Flowers as New U.S. Sales Account Manager

BioFire Defense LLC recently announced that Christina Flowers was appointed as the new U.S. Sales Account Manager to help expand their portfolio in the military, public health, first responder, and private specialty markets throughout the United States.

Healthcare

Hospital Threats - More to Address Than Just Donning & Doffing

by Craig DeAtley -

An Ebola-infected American flown from Sierra Leone lies in critical condition at the National Institutes of Health. A nurse who contracted Ebola in 2014 when caring for a patient is suing Texas Health Resources for not properly training its employees. As these events demonstrate, biological threats to hospital workers still exist, and training must go beyond simply donning and doffing.

Updates

Virginia Tech Selects Veoci for Managing Emergencies

After a thorough evaluation that included a live drill test, Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech) has selected and launched Veoci as its virtual Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Virginia Tech will use Veoci as the single-common platform for managing emergencies.

Reports

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress

Congress included provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications, by creating the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). This report discusses issues that Congress should consider with regard to FirstNet.

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Updates

Autoclear Wins Checkpoint Scanning System Bid for State of Tennessee

Autoclear, a global designer and manufacturer of innovative security screening equipment, recently announced it has been awarded a contract with the State of Tennessee to supply and install more than 40 X-ray scanners to screen for threats and contraband.

Reports

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic

This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from Congressional Research Service, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. In addition, the report lists selected cybersecurity-related websites for various agencies, associations, institutions, news, and other organizations.

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Updates

ENMET Releases GSM-60 Gas Sampling Monitor with Internal Pump and Sensors

ENMET has released the GSM-60, a microprocessor-based gas monitor especially designed for use in industrial process, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and semiconductor applications.

Updates

Air Force Attacks Biological Agents with Heat, Humidity

During a recent demonstration, an Air Force Research Laboratory technical team simulated anthrax contamination by using an environmentally safe, commercially available organic insecticide. The team, with contract support from AeroClave LLC, then showed how heat and humidity in a closed environment could eliminate both interior and exterior biological contamination.

Resilience

Pittsburgh: Traffic-Stop Training to Prevent Police Officer Ambushes

by Zoë Thorkildsen -

Across the United States, incidents of police officers being targeted in ambush-style attacks have raised great concern. The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police addressed this rising concern by creating reality-based training scenarios that build situational awareness and test officers on incidents they are likely to encounter during routine traffic stops.

Updates

First Responder Technologies: 2014 Year in Review

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate's First Responders Group works with responders across all disciplines to develop solutions to the most pressing challenges they face  both daily and during times of emergency. In 2014, several advances and innovations for the fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical services communities were featured.

Healthcare

Preparedness: Moving Beyond the Stockpiling of Stuff

by Andrew Roszak -

Equipment, plans, and personnel are only as good as their ability to perform when needed. When disaster strikes, it is imperative that local, state, and federal levels of government, emergency management, volunteer organizations, and healthcare coalitions are all operationally ready and trained to use all of the "stuff" they have acquired over the years.

Updates

Reawakened Oklahoma Faults Could Produce Larger Future Events

Reactivated faults that have produced thousands of Oklahoma earthquakes are capable of causing larger seismic events. "By identifying the faults, we are providing some guidance about where major earthquakes can happen," said Dan McNamara, U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist and lead author of a new research paper published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Updates

Columbia Southern University (CSU) Adds New Degree Offerings

CSU has announced four new degree offerings including a bachelor's in information systems security, a bachelor's in information systems security with a concentration in homeland security, a fire administration degree with a new concentration in fire investigation, and a criminal justice administration degree with a new concentration in arson investigation.

Updates

BioFire Receives FDA Clearance for the FilmArray 2.0 System

A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics (IVD), bioMérieux recently announced that BioFire Diagnostics, LLC, its molecular biology affiliate, received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and CE-IVD marking of the FilmArray® 2.0 system. The system is expected to be commercially available by the end of March 2015.

Reports

The U.S. Tsunami Program: A Brief Overview

The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) assists states in emergency planning and in developing maps of potential coastal inundation for a tsunami of a given intensity. A goal of the program is to ensure adequate advance warning of tsunamis along all U.S. coastal areas and appropriate community response to a tsunami event.

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Updates

Global Health Strategies for Security Course

This graduate-level certificate course is offered through the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine/ Department of Military and Emergency Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Updates

Preparing for Possible Large Measles Outbreak

The current multistate outbreak underscores the ongoing risk of measles spread, the continued need for measles vaccine coverage for healthcare providers and first responders, and the importance of a prompt and appropriate public health response to measles cases and outbreaks.

Updates

Emergent BioSolutions Announces Primary Endpoints Met in Pivotal Study Supporting Licensure of Building 55

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. recently announced completion of the in-life phase of the pivotal nonclinical efficacy study designed to demonstrate that BioThrax® (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) manufactured at large scale in the company's new modern facility, Building 55, is comparable to the BioThrax currently manufactured in its approved facility, Building 12.

Resilience

Financial Planning for the Next Ebola Threat

by Chris N. Mangal -

Public health and healthcare funding is a priority during a disease outbreak such as Ebola. However, when ongoing funding is unavailable, government agencies must scramble to find ways to support public health response efforts. Three funding opportunities may help address these current gaps and avoid disease-specific funding for response efforts after the threat is realized.

Updates

Finance Executive Daniel Michael Joins IEM as Chief Financial Officer

"Dan Michael is a strong leader with the right financial expertise and industry knowledge to help us translate insights into action in our market areas," said Madhu Beriwal, IEM founder and chief executive officer. "I look forward to working with him as we take IEM to higher echelons of success."

Preparedness

Cadet Programs - Mending Police-Community Relations

by Samuel Johnson -

As conflicts arise between law enforcement agencies and the communities in which they serve, police cadet leadership programs could reduce crime, increase community relations, and change lives. Through education, community service, and public safety, these programs promote highly trained police departments and break down socioeconomic barriers.

Healthcare

Transitioning From Routine to Disaster

by Tanya Ferraro -

Public health agencies serve valuable roles and fill operational gaps that only they can perform. Planning and training within and between agencies are necessary for public health services to transition from daily operations to emergency response to a widespread pandemic, environmental hazard, or other critical public health threat.

Updates

New Devices May Soon Help Soldiers Nose Out Chemicals, Biothreats

Researchers are refining for Army use a commercial technology that will allow soldiers to accurately and rapidly detect an array of chemical and biological hazards  from mustard agent to anthrax and then transmit those results to their higher command.

Updates

New Handheld Analyzer Combines FTIR & Raman for Military, Explosives & Hazmat Responders

Thermo Scientifics' Gemini is a new, innovative portable analyzer combining both Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy in a single handheld instrument that provides military personnel, bomb technicians, hazmat teams, and first responders tasked with identifying unknown chemicals and explosives in the field a faster, more confident response.

Reports

National Health Security Strategy and Implementation Plan

The National Health Security Strategy 2015-2018 provides strategic direction to ensure that efforts to improve health security nationwide over the next four years are guided by a common vision, based on sound evidence, and carried out in an efficient, collaborative manner.

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Updates

MediVector Completes Patient Enrollment in Two Phase 3 Studies of Favipiravir for Influenza

MediVector, Inc. recently announced that it has successfully completed enrollment in two favipiravir Phase 3 studies in adults with uncomplicated influenza. Favipiravir is an orally administered novel antiviral compound with a unique mechanism of action that is active against a wide range of ribonucleic acid-based viruses in laboratory tests.