Emergency medical services

  • Public safetyPublic safety officials implement Boston bombing's lessons

    The use of improvised tourniquets to stop bleeding was considered not only old-fashioned, but potentially damaging. Yet, in the minutes following the Boston marathon bombing, people near the finish line used improvised tourniquets to stop the bleeding of dozens of those injured around them while waiting for medical crews to arrive. Security and public safety officials have used lessons learned from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing to prepare for this year’s event, including providing police officers with tourniquets. Organizers of large public events are implementing other lessons from the 2013 attack.

  • Biodetection2014 edition of updated first responder biodetection technology guide available

    A 2014 update to a detailed product guide listing biodetection technologies and sampling products is now available. The updated digest, Biodetection Technologies for First Responders: 2014, provides a comprehensive compilation of commercially available detection devices and products published to help first responders when purchasing equipment and supplies needed to rapidly assess biological threats.

  • DisastersTorrential rain, hurricane-force winds, floods continue to batter U.K.

    Torrential rains, floods, and winds with speeds reaching 108 mph continue to batter south and west U.K., causing massive disruptions to power supply and road and rail transportation. Britain is enjoying a short respite today (Thursday), but meteorologists warned people to brace themselves for more chaos as another storm brings heavy rain, strong winds, and more risk of flooding on Friday and into the weekend. Severe flood warnings, indicating danger to life, remain in place in Berkshire, Surrey, and Somerset, where hundreds of homes have been evacuated.

  • DisastersU.S. disaster preparedness threatened by funding problems

    The 9/11 attacks in New York City prompted large increases in government funding to help communities respond and recover after man-made and natural disasters. This funding, however, has fallen considerably since the economic crisis in 2008. Furthermore, disaster funding distribution is deeply inefficient: huge cash infusions are disbursed right after a disaster, only to fall abruptly after interest wanes. These issues have exposed significant problems with our nation’s preparedness for public health emergencies. Researchers list seven recommendations to enhance preparedness for public health emergencies in the U.S.

  • Typhoon HaiyanPhilippines prepares for worse disasters to come

    On average, the Philippines experiences about twenty typhoons a year, including three super-typhoons and many incidents of flooding, drought, earthquakes, tremors, and occasional volcanic eruptions, making the country one of the most naturally disaster-prone areas in the world. Filipino government agencies, with the help of international disaster and relief agencies, have created new strategies for disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation which may well have potential applications in other parts of the world. As the impact of climate change grows more pronounced, the Philippines is becoming a hothouse for developing new methods and systems in the growing business of disaster relief.

  • First respondersHelping first responders identify chemical, biological, and radiological agents

    The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has expanded the reach and capabilities of its rapid urban plume modeling and hazard assessment system, CT-Analyst, by providing a commercial license to Valencia, California-based Safe Environment Engineering (SEE) for the fields of use of public safety, industrial safety and monitoring, and environmental monitoring. CT Analyst is a tool designed to provide first responders with fast and accurate predictions of chemical, biological, and radiological agent airborne transport in urban environments. CT Analyst will be integrated into the existing product line of SEE’s Lifeline MultiMeterViewer software suite.

  • PreparednessArkansas deploys first statewide SmartPrepare system

    Arkansas uses citizen-supplied data for more efficient emergency planning and response. The service allows citizens to create secure profiles online which contain vital details about their household. Public safety officials can use the data to gain greater insight into their communities and identify potential challenges in order to prepare more effectively for disasters, allocate resources, and expedite emergency response and recovery efforts during events.

  • DetectionDolphin-inspired radar system detects hidden surveillance, explosive devices

    Scientists, inspired by the way dolphins hunt using bubble nets, have developed a new kind of radar that can detect hidden surveillance equipment and explosives. The twin inverted pulse radar (TWIPR) is able to distinguish true targets, such as certain types of electronic circuits that may be used in explosive or espionage devices, from clutter (for example, other metallic items like pipes, drinks cans, or nails) which may be mistaken for a genuine target by traditional radar and metal detectors.

  • HazmatHazmat Challenge tests skills of hazmat response teams from three states

    Twelve hazardous materials response teams from New Mexico, Missouri, and Oklahoma will test their skills at the 17th annual Hazmat Challenge, which will be held 30 July through 2 August at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Public health Responding to public health emergencies

    Over the past decade, community engagement has become a central tenet of U.S. federal approach to public health emergency preparedness. Little is known, however, about how the vision of a ready, aware, and involved populace has translated into local practice.

  • First responseAutomakers help Detroit emergency services

    General Motors, Ford Motors, and the Chrysler Group joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Quicken Loans, and several other businesses in the Detroit area to donate $8 million for new ambulances and police cars, on the same day that emergency manager Kevyn Orr started his job.

  • Hospital securityNapa Valley hospital employees fearful of new, wearable security system

    Employees at a Napa Valley, California hospital are required to carry an alarm device on a lanyard around their necks; the alarm device is about the size of a smart phone and can send and receive signals during an emergency; after incidents in which psychiatric patients tried to choke employees by grabbing and twisting the lanyards, employees want other options for carrying the alarm device

  • Emergency treatmentHandheld plasma flashlight rids skin of pathogens

    Scientists develop a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant; the device could be used in ambulance emergency calls, natural disaster sites, military combat operations, and many other instances where treatment is required in remote locations

  • Emergency dispatchCounty experiments with new medical emergency dispatch protocol

    In an effort to reduce costs and free up valuable resources, Kings County, Seattle is experimenting with a new 911 emergency call system that prioritizes emergency calls over nonemergency calls; under the new system, when residents call 911 with a serious medical emergency, the system will dispatch a fire truck or ambulance

  • Emergency responseThe Red Cross, emergency response, and Twitter

    Social media has become such an integral part of our lives that emergency responders are now turning to Twitter and Facebook to gain valuable information during natural disasters or crises