Author Archive

New HazMat Challenges for Modern EMS Units

In today’s increasingly complex and ever more dangerous world, EMS units in U.S. communities both large and small are learning to cope with a broad spectrum of mass-casualty incidents and events never before encountered by their predecessors. Here are a few common-sense cost, training, political, legal, and operational suggestions that

Narcan: The Spray That Saves

First question: Should “everyday citizens” – however that term is defined – be given access to potentially harmful medications, including antidotes to dangerous narcotics? Well, perhaps. Second question: What if the medication also saves lives? Now the answer is a much more emphatic “perhaps”. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is working

Surviving the End of the World

In almost all dangerous events and incidents, the highest priority of the first responders on the scene is to save lives. The parallel obligation of emergency managers and other senior officials, therefore, is to do as much as possible to save and protect the lives of the lifesavers themselves.

The Future of EMS: Upward & Outward

In the Old West, the town barber often served as the town doctor as well. The parallel today is far from exact, but the current generation of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) is rapidly learning new and more advanced skills. By using such technologically advanced medical systems and devices, the capabilities

Identifying Biological Hazards as They Happen

Start at the beginning … or even earlier. The process for handling potential mass-casualty incidents – particularly when biological hazards are involved – is critical when lowering exposure risk and abating the spread of a toxic agent: Develop comprehensive response plans as far in advance as possible, gather the supplies

Afterglow – Countering the Deadly Effects of Radiation

Silent, odor-free, invisible, and deadly: The radiation left by a dirty bomb, hazmat spill, or laboratory accident is usually difficult to detect and represents a “double danger” not only to those already on the scene of a potential mass-casualty incident but also to the EMTs and first responders seeking to

Resurrection & Remembrance: The World Trade Center

During the fall of the twin towers, many responder groups, and individual responders, were forced to scatter. In addition, responder vehicles and equipment were lost, unit cohesion collapsed, and the air thickened into an almost opaque fluid. As the world’s visible edge moved closer and closer to the viewer on

The New CDC ‘Zombies’ of Emergency Preparedness

The immense increase in the use of social media offers many new opportunities to educate the American people on emergency preparedness in general and to move agency messages to a broader target audience. Another result of the much expanded range of information outlets – primarily the Internet – is that

A Three-Question Approach to Grants

“Is the Grant a Good Fix?” “What Will It Take to Implement the Grant?” “What Are the Estimated Continuing Costs of the Project?” Those not-so-easy questions should be asked long before a grant is requested. The answers may at times be discouraging, but not nearly as discouraging as losing a

Antidotes: The Care and Cure for ‘What Ails You’

The twin goals – total security, and immediate accessibility – prescribed for the perfect medical antidote program are not only mutually exclusive but also theoretically impossible to achieve. Almost. But there are some effective compromise measures that can bridge the differences, lower the loss rate, and significantly improve on-scene operational

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Article Out Loud – Rising Above the Flood: A Decision Tool for Structural Safety

Full Article By Cedric Ling, Debashish Kar, Nur Yazdani, Eyosias Beneberu, Maria Koliou, and Yong Yoo, an Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, January 24, 2024.When homeowners choose to elevate their homes above flood levels, they may compromise the structural integrity of the building if the elevation method does not

Article Out Loud – Beyond Patient Care: Family Reunification Planning for Hospitals

Full Article By Michael Prasad, An Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, January 17, 2024.To meet a community’s mass care family reunification needs after a disaster, hospitals and other healthcare facilities must have plans and procedures in place for mass casualty incident response, which goes beyond patient care. Here are

Article Out Loud – Multimodal Transportation Perspectives

Full Article By Nathan DiPillo and Derek Kantar, An Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, January 17, 2024.Without transportation and communications, emergency response can move at an uncomfortably slow pace, enough so that life, property, and the environment may be unnecessarily compromised. The integrated transportation network must be protected from

Article Out Loud – Resilience Versus Emergency Management

By Wayne P. Bergeron, An Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, January 10, 2024.Conferences are full of important and interesting sessions, but attendees do not always take away actionable knowledge or have long-term retention of the information. This article summarizes a crowd-sourced conversation with panelists, attendees, resilience experts, and Chat

Article Out Loud – Energy Sector Perspectives

By Eric Easton, An Article Out Loud from Domestic Preparedness, January 10, 2024. From the alarm clock that wakes people in the morning, to the natural gas used to cook breakfast, to the refined petroleum products powering vehicles for daily commutes, the Energy Sector plays an integral role in daily

Article Out Loud – Five Steps Toward Enhancing Climate Resilience

Many communities have been impacted by “acute climate shocks” such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods, heatwaves, and severe winter storms – resulting in the loss of lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure. The five steps shared in this 2018 article can help enhance climate resilience.

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