In this issue:
- Precedent-Setting Decision on Emergency Evacuations for People with Disabilities Issued in Maryland
- Getting started with Amateur Radio: A backup communication system for health emergencies
- Upcoming Events
- Satellite Conferences
- The role of public health in a nuclear or radiological terrorist event
- Terrorism planning through the eyes of the public
- Weapons of Mass Destruction Standardized Awareness Course -- Chemical Agents
- Weapons of Mass Destruction Standardized Awareness Course -- Biological Agents
- Weapons of Mass Destruction Standardized Awareness Course -- Radiological Materials and Nuclear Weapons
For the first time, a court has declared that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires places of public accommodation to consider the needs of people with disabilities in developing emergency evacuation plans. This groundbreaking decision -- issued on December 28, 2004 by Judge John W. Debelius III of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland -- means that shopping malls, stores, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and other private entities subject to the ADA throughout the country, whether landlords or tenants, must now seek to accommodate people with disabilities in the development and modification of emergency evacuation procedures.
Amateur radio, also known as "ham" radio, is a noncommercial, two-way transmission of signals over short-wave frequencies. A number of Minnesota's local public health agencies, tribal governments and hospitals are considering amateur radio as a backup communication system for health emergencies.
Minnesota has a well-developed alerting and notification system in the Health Alert Network. Infectious disease, vaccine preventable disease, the laboratories and environmental health experts maintain MDH websites with recommendations to health emergency responders. It doesn't take long in any discussion of emergency communication before someone asks, "What happens if the Web goes down?" or "We could lose electricity and phone lines. How do we communicate then?"
There is not a single answer to that question. Satellite phones might fill some of the gap. Strong, stand alone, local Health Alert Networks are another part of the answer. Developing connections, planning and exercising with local amateur radio operators are another part of the answer.
The 40th Annual Governor's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Conference is scheduled for March 8 through March 10, 2005 at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel in St. Paul, MN. It is sponsored by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and is attended by approximately 400 emergency management, fire, law enforcement, voluntary agency and emergency medical services personnel, as well as by business continuity planners from business and industry located throughout the state of Minnesota.
This course is designed to equip military and civilian hospital-based medical and management professionals with skills, knowledge and information resources to carry out the full spectrum of health care facility responsibilities required by a chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear, explosive, (CBRNE) or mass casualty event. Classroom and practical application instruction focuses on diagnosis, treatment, and incident management in response to mass casualty events of all types, including incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. The course provides healthcare professionals with management skills necessary to deal with the medical, physical, economic and other challenges posed by such incidents.
Presented by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD), the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute.
Target audience: hospital-based medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, dentists, paramedical professionals, hospital administrators, medical planners, and others who plan, conduct or have responsibility for hospital management of mass casualty incidents and/or terrorism preparedness.
FY) 2005 Course Schedule
28 February - 4 March 2005
25 - 29 April 2005
20 - 24 June 2005
11 - 15 July 2005
15 - 19 August 2005
Satellite Learning Conferences
February 3, 2005, 12-1:00 p.m.
This broadcast will provide public health personnel with the most current information about the roles of federal response teams and local and state public health services. Information will focus on radiation principles, possible scenarios involving the release of radioactive materials, radiation protective measures, and evacuation and sheltering guidelines. Target audience: state, local, tribal and territorial health agency senior officials, emergency planners, health educators, epidemiologists, environmental health specialists, public health officials and nurses, public health students, sanitarians, hazardous materials team members, and first responders.
February 3, 2005, 3-4:30 p.m.
Speaker: Roz D. Lasker,M D, Director, Division of Public Health and the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health at the New York Academy of Medicine.
At the conclusion of the presentation, the participants will be able to:maintaining or increasing state-level funding for public health activities Describe the methods used for collecting information from the public about terrorism planning;maintaining or increasing state-level funding for public health activities Understand the reasons for likely non-compliance of population segments with "top-down" preparedness planning;maintaining or increasing state-level funding for public health activities Support the local planning processes by more accurately reflecting concerns and limitations of the affected public.
This module provides an awareness-level understanding of chemical agents and Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TIC) that may be used as Weapons of Mass Destruction. At the conclusion of this program, individuals will be able to describe selected chemical agents (choking, blood, blister, and nerve) and recognize TIC terms; agent definitions; agent characteristics; and the physiological signs and symptoms of chemical exposure.
This module provides an awareness-level understanding of biological agents. The module addresses the types of biological agents; general signs and symptoms to recognize exposure; and the physical characteristics of biological agents. At the conclusion, the participant will be able to describe biological agents; the signs and symptoms of exposure; and any physical characteristics of biological agents.
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Standardized Awareness Course - Radiological Materials and Nuclear Weapons
This module provides the basic concepts of radiation. At an awareness-level, the module addresses and defines ionizing radiation; shielding materials for each type of radiation; effects of radiation on people; and types of possible terrorist radiological/nuclear weapons. At the conclusion, participants will describe the awareness-level characteristics of radiation and radiological materials; identify the physiological signs and symptoms of exposure; identify radiation exposure devices and radiological dispersal devices; distinguish between a nuclear weapon detonation and a conventional explosion; and finally, define the terms associated with radiation such as external exposure, external contamination, internal exposure, and internal contamination.
The award-winning quarterly newsletter of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, StressPoints, contains news and opinions about the traumatic stress field, ISTSS activities, activities of related organizations, resources and feature articles on topics of interest.
- MMWR Case Definitions for Chemical Poisioning
MMWR Weekly Report, Volume 54, Number RR1
When human illness results from an unintentional or intentional release of a toxin (chemicals produced by metabolism in an organism [e.g., ricin]) or a toxicant (natural or synthetic chemicals not metabolically produced by an organism [e.g., nerve agents]) into the environment, uniform reporting is necessary to direct appropriate resources, assess the extent of morbidity and mortality, track poisoned persons, and monitor response to intervention. In this report, CDC presents case definitions to facilitate uniform reporting among local, state, and federal public health agencies of illness resulting from a chemical release. The report also explains the rationale for the structure of the case definitions, the audience for whom it is intended, the setting in which the case definitions might be used, and reasons each chemical presented in the report was selected.
Clinical knowledge and diagnostic tools (e.g., biologic laboratory tests) for detecting chemical poisoning are likely to improve over time. CDC will create new case definitions and revise existing definitions to meet the needs related to emerging threats and to enhance case definition sensitivity and specificity, when possible, with developing clinical information.
The UC Berkeley Center for Infectious Disease Preparedness has announced their courses for Spring 2005. Their mission is to train frontline public health staff to improve their ability to detect, investigate, and respond to infectious disease threats through education, training, evaluation, and research.
Three courses will be webcast:
Epidemiology and control of zoonotic infections
Core infectious disease emergency readiness
Community-based, public health emergency preparedness
This new publication features articles written by DomesticPreparedness.com Channel Masters. Volume 1, Issue One:
- A Spiral of Hope for the First Responder Community
- Technology Alert
- DHS Seeks to Create Higher Standards of Readiness
- The Synergy of Security
- Tokyo, Granitville, and Innocent Children
Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal Vol. 11, No. 2, February 2005.
This journal features:
Articles of possible interest this month:
Quarantine for SARS, Taiwan, Y.-H. Hsieh et al.
Surveillance and Control Measures during a smallpox outbreak, E. Kerrod et al.