Emergency services

  • 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

  • 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)

  • Critics: current chemical safety standards insufficient, should not be extended

    Critics of the current chemical plant safety standards say these standard are insufficient and should be extended; critics cite EPA data to highlight the fact that current safety standards leave more than 110 million Americans at risk from high-risk chemical plants

  • Infant survivor of Indiana tornadoes dies, death toll rises to 39

    The fifteen-month old infant survivor of the twisters that struck Kentucky and Indiana, who had come to represent a symbol of hope, has died; the death toll is now thirty-nine

  • Pasta-shaped radio waves beamed across Venice

    One solution to communication congestion during emergencies is to create a public safety-dedicated band of the spectrum, allowing for a unified and uninterrupted communication among first responders; another solution is twisting radio waves into the shape of fusilli pasta, allowing a potentially infinite number of channels to be broadcast and received

  • DARPA holds $40,000 competition to test social media in disasters

    To better understand how emergency responders can leverage social media tools, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is holding the$40,000 CLIQR Quest Challenge

  • Snake-emulating search-and-rescue robot

    An all-terrain robot for search-and-rescue missions must be flexible enough to move over uneven surfaces, yet not so big that it is restricted from tight spaces; it might also be required to climb slopes of varying inclines; researchers say the solution would be a search-and-rescue robot which emulates the locomotion of a certain type of flexible, efficient animals: snakes