• Harris deploys public safety communications system in Virginia

    Harris Corporation has received a $10 million contract from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to deploy a public safety digital communications system based on P25 Phase 2 standards

  • Wisconsin county has a new LMR system

    In Rock County, Wisconsin, firefighters have been required manually to change radio channels as they moved from North to South because of two different frequencies in the region; Raytheon is helping to combine three disparate communications systems in the country into one; the result will be more efficient – and interoperable – first response communication system

  • San Francisco earthquake planners developing pet-disaster response

    San Francisco is preparing for the Big One in more ways than one: the latest addition to the city’s disaster preparedness plans is a legion of pet disaster responders, trained by city officials to rescue pet dogs, cats, rodents, birds, and reptiles in the event of a disaster, and transport them to one of 125 temporary shelters

  • Handheld 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

  • Mexico has an earthquake warning system, why not California?

    Mexico has a functioning and apparently life-saving earthquake warning system in place; California’s system is stuck in a permanent test phase due primarily to lack of funding

  • Robot jellyfish for underwater search and rescue

    Researchers have built a robotic swimmer that mimics the motion of a jellyfish; the device will because for underwater search and rescue missions

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  • County 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

  • The 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

  • Researchers developing wireless emergency network for disasters

    University of Arkansas researchers are developing a solar powered wireless emergency communications network that can be deployed during major disasters to transmit critical warnings and geographic information

  • Tighter regulation of industry’s disaster preparedness required

    Before 11 March 2011, Japan was held up as a paragon for preparedness; they had a national readiness plan, regular disaster drills, and strong civic engagement; the Fukushima disaster exposed a disturbing reality: search and rescue efforts were delayed, shelters ill-equipped, and supply chains broken; worst of all, there was confusion about who was managing the nuclear accident — the power company TEPCO or the Japanese government; information, when forthcoming, was sometimes contradictory

  • GAO: new emergency responder network lacks critical features

    A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concludes that limitations in the government’s plans to create a nationwide broadband network for first responders will require the continued use of the existing system for at least another decade

  • Reliable communications during natural disasters, emergencies

    The Contingency Response Communications System (CRCS) is easily set up within thirty minutes. Once set up is complete the CRCS allows emergency first responders quickly to communicate with military commanders through phone or Internet

  • Detroit prioritizes how its responds to 911 calls

    With the help of a newly created unit, Detroit Police are changing how they respond to emergency calls; under the new system, officers will be able to respond to the most immediate threats first before dealing with non-emergency requests

  • Missouri first responders learn from last year’s tornado season

    Drawing on the valuable lessons learned from last year’s record tornado season, emergency officials in the St. Louis area were ready to spring into action immediately after tornadoes swept through the state once again last week

  • Industry: current chemical safety standards sufficient, should be extended

    DHS’s management of the U.S. chemical plant safety has come under criticism lately, but he Society of Chemical Manufactures and Affiliates (SOCMA) said it strongly supports U.S. chemical security standards; the industry associated noted that since the program’s 2007 launch, more than 2,000 facilities have changed processes or inventories such that they are no longer considered high-risk under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)