Please help us equip First Responders with pet oxygen masks and protective K9 gear

May 13, 2018

We’ve never done a GoFundMe campaign before but wanted to share an event and fundraiser that will help equip first responders with pet oxygen masks, K9 Rex Specs and K-9 vests in case you might like to attend or want to donate or share with others.

In addition to being co-founder of Fedhealth and co-author (with Bill) of our customizable preparedness book, I am also Exec VP of the U.S. First Responders Association.

On May  26, 2018 The Starlight Singers and performers from Sara Dance Center will honor first responders and entertain the public at their Memorial Day Weekend First Responder Benefit in Sarasota Florida.

All donations and proceeds from ticket and concession sales (plus my GoFundMe campaign) will be donated to USFRA who will purchase and donate pet oxygen masks and K-9 gear to Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement departments.

Please visit my fundraiser and share it with others to help us equip as many Fire, EMS and K9 officials as possible.

Also learn more about The Starlight Singers 5/26 event here (which is free for first responders) or on USFRA’s Facebook post … and leave us a comment or email evp@usfra.org with any questions or needs.

Thank you! j ( & B )

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FirstNet: Nationwide secure broadband network + communication tools for first responders

February 10, 2018

We’ve been writing about the progress of FirstNet in our enews since Mar 2014 (and Oct 2014 and Mar 2015). And now that AT&T is the official provider of services for FirstNet, the dedicated communications platform created with first responders for first responders is helping to enable simpler, safer, faster and more collaborative communications.

FirstNet will give the public safety community the 21st-century communication tools it needs to help save lives and keep communities and first responders safe.

As of late-December 2017, all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories and the District of Columbia officially Opted-In to FirstNet, so now FirstNet and AT&T have a clear line of sight to deliver a nationwide platform and communications tools being built for public safety officials.

The foundation of the FirstNet service is a highly reliable highly secure broadband network dedicated to public safety. This is the first time public safety communications will be based on global standards like Global System for Mobile Communications, realize the benefits of economies of scale, and see rapid evolution of advanced communication capabilities, on a network designed for public safety users.

Why is the FirstNet network a necessary and relevant undertaking?

Whether they’re responding to a local emergency or supporting a disaster in another city or state, public safety deserves a network that will be there for them whenever and wherever they need it. This unifying network will allow first responders and other public safety personnel to communicate across different agencies and jurisdictions throughout the country. Given current difficulties in doing this, the FirstNet network will allow public safety entities to better coordinate when jointly responding to human-caused and natural disasters.

Who can subscribe to FirstNet?

Subscribers can include primary user and extended primary users:

  • Primary users are public safety personnel whose primary mission and job is to provide services to the public in the areas of law enforcement, fire suppression and prevention, or emergency medical services.
  • Extended primary users are other entities that provide public safety services, and include individuals, agencies, organizations, non-profit or for-profit companies who are not primary users, but who may be called upon to support public safety personnel with the mitigation, remediation, overhaul, clean-up, restoration, or other such services that are required during the time of incident or post-incident. Extended primary users may be called on a temporary or on-going basis.

How does FirstNet compare to what’s currently available to public safety?

Today:

  • Networks get congested in disasters and emergencies, making it difficult for first responders and other public safety personnel to communicate, coordinate and do their jobs.
  • The public safety community uses more than 10,000 radio networks – which creates difficulty when trying to communicate across agencies or jurisdictions.

With the FirstNet network:

  • First responders and other public safety personnel will access one highly secure, nationwide, interoperable communications network that will support voice, data, text and video communications.
  • Public safety will have dedicated access to this network in times of crisis– their communications needs will come before non-public safety users.
  • FirstNet will also deliver specialized features to further the public safety mission, including priority, preemption and more network capacity; a resilient, hardened connection; and an applications ecosystem with innovative applications and services.
  • Devices connected to the network – such as wearables, drones and vehicles – will relay near real-time information to improve situational awareness and, ultimately, help save lives both of public safety responders on the front lines and the communities they protect. Mike Zeto, general manager of AT&T Smart Cities, sees a unique opportunity to bridge public safety’s capabilities with the Internet of Things (IoT) ~ read more on USFRA.org.

What types of devices will work on FirstNet?

Public safety users have access to an expansive catalog of LTE devices, ranging from purpose-built rugged units to the world’s most popular smart devices and tablets, complemented with a wide range of accessories. FirstNet enables public safety customers to get the priority, coverage, and interoperability they need without sacrificing choice in the devices they require to get the job done. Additionally, FirstNet will establish Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) capabilities to support volunteers and other personnel who use their personal devices for their public safety work if they meet the applicable requirements.

FirstNet rate plans support a wide variety of smartphones, tablets, laptops, modems, and network-ready devices using Android®, Apple® iOS, BlackBerry®, and Windows® Phones.

As of 22-Jan-2018 Mike Poth, First Responder Network Authority CEO announced AT&T launched a brand expressly designed for FirstNet products and services. Having a specialized brand and logo will help public safety identify the FirstNet solution and lifesaving technologies the network offers first responders across our nation.

How will this network withstand natural disasters, such as flooding or hurricanes?

The first line of defense against network impact from natural disasters is a hardened, strengthened network. AT&T builds network infrastructure to meet or exceed national standards and local wind and earthquake load requirements. They have continued to strengthen the network in hurricane-prone areas by:

  • Installing back-up and permanent generators at critical cell sites and switching facilities
  • Locating critical equipment in less vulnerable areas
  • Locating electronics critical to network operations above expected flood levels
  • Protecting physical facilities against flooding

Additionally, AT&T will provide power to the network in case commercial power is lost by adding more generators for use immediately after a storm hits. They will also place switches and generators critical to network operations in upper floors of buildings in case of flooding. AT&T has already elevated key distribution facilities in many low-lying areas and upgraded electronics in many locations, replacing copper wiring with fiber optic cable.

Learn about FirstNet network and services, rate plans, solutions, devices and apps, events and more at www.FirstNet.com.

And visit www.FirstNet.gov to learn about FirstNet’s programs and activities, including its consultation and outreach with public safety, the State Plans process, and how the Board plans to ensure the FirstNet network meets the needs of public safety – every day and in every emergency.

You can also find updates and an RSS feed in the U.S. First Responders Association’s FirstNet group

 

Source: Fedhealth 1Q2018 enews


Drug Safety for First Responders (new USFRA group shares safety data about carfentanil, fentanyl, etc)

May 7, 2017

by Janet Liebsch – USFRA Executive VP and Fedhealth VP

In 2016 the U.S. First Responders Association shared a few safety posts and warnings to members and the public about carfentanil and fentanyl, however we recently shared a photo (seen here) with a warning to responders about carfentanil on a USFRA facebook post and it reached over 4 million people in less than a week!

Thousands of replies on the post were all over the map, and unfortunately many commenters went off topic since it was a public post with over 33,000+ shares, so people (a vast majority were not first responders) were arguing and debating overdoses, the war on drugs, rehab and more. There were also some great questions and posts from professionals in the field.

The main point of the post is warning medics, police and firefighters if they find drugs on a patient to be extremely careful when handling them since carfentanil recently landed 2 first responders in the hospital from inhaling dust while closing a ziploc bag a patient had. And the vials compare the potential lethal amounts of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil.

Responders have been dealing with fentanyl for years, and carfentanil–a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals–started appearing in OD cases last summer. But carfentanil is really spreading across the country now since it is being cut into street drugs and/or sold as heroin creating a deadly nightmare for public safety, first responder, medical, treatment, and laboratory personnel.

For those not familiar with carfentanil, it is a synthetic opioid that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which itself is 50 times more potent than heroin.

The lethal dose range for carfentanil in humans is unknown; however, since it is approximately 100 times more potent than fentanyl, it could be lethal at the 200-microgram to 2-milligram range, depending on route of administration and other factors. Some U.S. and Canadian officials even say just 20 micrograms of carfentanil could be lethal.

With overdose cases increasing exponentially and so many questions and concerns from responders to our 4/30 post, USFRA setup a new group called “Drug Safety for First Responders” where we are sharing information and safety data about fentanyl, carfentanil and other drugs ~ especially as it relates to scene and personal safety.

Many fentanyl-related compounds are lethal and could be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Law enforcement, Fire/EMS, health professionals and volunteers on-scene and at receiving facilities (e.g. hospitals, jails, etc.) should learn about these dangers and carefully follow safety protocols to avoid accidental exposure.

Some examples of articles posted the first week include:

DEA warnings to first responders about carfentanil and fentanyl (Post includes information from DEA’s official alert from late 2016 about the lethal dangers of these synthetic opioids plus has some on-scene safety tips for responding personnel)

K9s teams be on alert for fentanyl and carfentanil during searches (Article discusses how K-9 teams must be vigilant anytime they arrive on scene of a drug related and/or overdose call (and even when searching suspects) ~ esp. since deadly synthetic opioids are being cut into heroin, cocaine, etc. Drug dogs could be exposed to fentanyl and carfentanil by inhalation or absorbed through their paw pads. Agencies are starting to carry Narcan to treat a suffering K-9 before symptoms get out of control.)

“Gray death” combo drug includes heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and U-47700 … and Columbus first responders prepare for new drug called Gray Death (These 2 posts discuss a new and dangerous drug combination called “gray death” found so far in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio. It’s a combination of several opioids including heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and a synthetic opioid called U-47700, it looks like concrete mix, and varies in consistency from a hard, chunky material to a fine powder.) and

Please use this Drug Safety for First Responders group (and other USFRA networks and forums) to share safety tips, protocols, articles and other discussions and experiences from the field. Members and visitors are welcome to read and share articles, events, classifieds and more on our site, and follow USFRA on Facebook and Twitter.

Bill and I encourage all responders and volunteers to join the U.S. First Responders Association at www.usfra.org and invite your friends and colleagues too.

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CDC Blast Injury mobile application (free iPhone or iPad app for first responders)

April 29, 2017

The CDC Blast Injury app supports pre-hospital and hospital healthcare providers and public health professionals in preparing for and responding to terrorist bombings and other mass casualty explosive events.

Healthcare providers and public health professionals can use the application to:

  • Quickly review critical steps to take from the moment an event happens.
  • Learn blast injury patterns and treatment considerations.
  • Scan information efficiently with minimal effort on the way to or at a scene and grasp clinical guidance to support key job functions.
  • Access medical surge capacity guidance including information on facilitating health systems emergency communication.
  • Find special populations treatment considerations (e.g., women who are pregnant, children)
  • Link to the full breadth of CDC’s resources on blast injuries and mass casualty explosive events.

The CDC Blast Injury app for iPhone or iPad is available for free on iTunes


Inside a State Emergency Operations Center

April 9, 2017

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes during a disaster?

Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) created a brief video of their State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) during a simulated activation that shows what staff do to coordinate the state’s response when an emergency situation occurs.

This video was the first in a series that highlights the different divisions within MN Department of Public Safety in case your agency or dept may want to do similar projects.  Find more DPS MIC’D UP videos on their MnDPS channel


Fedhealth donates portion of all book sales to USFRA to help nation’s first responders

March 11, 2017

Fedhealth, an independent publisher, announced it will be donating a portion of all book orders going forward to support first responders across America.

“We have worked very closely with the United States First Responders Association for years and are committed to help them continue to support our nation’s firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement, active duty military and veterans,” said Fedhealth President and CEO Bill Liebsch. “USFRA’s mission fits perfectly with our “Funding Our Heroes” goals.

Janet Liebsch, Fedhealth Vice President is also Executive Vice President of USFRA and their Disaster Information Specialist. “I have been honored to work with this wonderful organization of professionals and have seen the struggles that first responders deal with financially at their departments, as well as physically, mentally and emotionally in their personal lives. This is a way for us to give back to our country’s heroes through existing and planned USFRA programs and resources.”

Starting this month Fedhealth will donate up to 13% of all bulk IT’S A DISASTER! …and what are YOU gonna do about it? book orders to USFRA with their “Funding Our Heroes” program.

Many disaster education and relief organizations across North America use IT’S A DISASTER! as public education materials for communities before and following a crisis or emergency since the book explains what people should think about and do before, during and after specific types of scenarios, as well as how to administer basic first aid.

The latest version also includes some tips on how to respond during an active shooter incident using data contributed by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

Bill and Janet Liebsch, Fedhealth founders and co-authors and publishers of IT’S A DISASTER!, currently discount their 266-page customizable preparedness and first aid manuals up to 70% off list on 10 copies or more (or only $4.50 U.S. delivered). The deeply discounted price helps families, small businesses, volunteer groups, churches and others get this life-saving data into the hands of their employees, members and loved ones’ hands, plus books can be personalized at no additional charge.

Books can be customized in the print process in larger quantities (1,000 units and up) and an upgrade option offers up to 288 additional pages to be added to the preparedness and first aid manuals so businesses, groups or communities can include local emergency information, advertisements, sponsorship data and more.

And now the founders’ new consulting company, Fedhealth Services Corp, can help manage and facilitate large community-wide book projects and FSC will share advertising revenues with local first responders, chambers and other partners while educating the public and saving them money with discounts and freebies supplied by local and national advertisers. Plus the Liebsches will donate a portion of each bulk order to USFRA going forward in support of their “Funding Our Heroes” program.

For more information visit www.fedhealth.net/funding-our-heroes.html

 

About USFRA

The U.S. First Responders Association (USFRA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of a network of colleagues from Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, EMS as well as all divisions of the military. USFRA’s goal is to work together to strengthen safety initiatives, develop enhanced training programs and combine efforts to maximize community outreach programs. USFRA is one of the few national nonprofits that embrace all aspects of first response. Long term goals include educational and scholarship programs for youth interested in a career in first response and assistance with displaced veterans. www.usfra.org

 

About Fedhealth

Since 1999 Fedhealth has worked with officials and organizations across North America to get preparedness and safety information out to the public while donating millions in cash and match benefits to First Responders and nonprofit groups. www.fedhealth.net


FSC custom book project helps fund first responders and prepare communities

February 16, 2017

fsc-logoSince 1999 we (Bill and Janet Liebsch) have worked with city, county, state and federal agencies, businesses, nonprofits and others across North America providing our custom It’s A Disaster! books in bulk for their respective communities.

And, for the past few years, we’ve been offering our revenue sharing ideas associated with the larger custom book option (i.e. adding 48 to 288+ extra pages for advertisements, etc.)

Many clients want to do large custom book projects for their communities, but more often than not, coordinators are too busy to take on this type of project … or, in some cases, they aren’t allowed to ~ esp. agency coordinators.

So … we recently formed a new consulting company called Fedhealth Services Corp to help facilitate and manage custom book projects that will benefit local emergency management and first responder agencies, nonprofits, businesses and the general public at large.

FSC can help your community

Basically any agency, CERT, MRC, VOAD, nonprofit or other contact can provide FSC some key contacts in their community (e.g. Chambers, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis, LEPC chairs, EM coordinators, etc.), and we can reach out to them on that coordinator’s behalf and help manage a bulk custom book deal.

disaster_books_gi-4x2FSC can work directly with Chambers, Rotary Clubs or other business groups encouraging members to place ads inside books for pennies on the dollar. The goal is to offer discounts and freebies to local residents helping them save money year round.

The money raised can purchase custom books PLUS we will share revenue back with Chambers and other business groups / partners, local first responders and project coordinators.

We can also work with local emergency and city/county officials to ensure their preparedness messages, plans and other data for residents and businesses are included in custom books.

For example, let’s say a small city or county wants 5,000 customized books using 250 pages for coupons and discounts for the public + 50 pages for local emergency information wrapped around our 266-page disaster preparedness and first aid manual.

And the coordinator refers FSC to a local Chamber and their members pay only 16 cents per page (less than a postcard) for a color ad on glossy paper.

That means the total cost to advertisers would be $800 for a full page color ad (or $400 for 1/2 pg, $200 for 1/4 pg, or only $100 for 1/8 pg ad) that appears in all 5,000 books. Plus the Chamber (and others) will make money for helping put this deal together!

In other words… 5,000 books with 250 pages of color ads @ $0.16 per page could generate:

fsc-5k-book-example

Benefits for Chambers and other partners

Chambers and other business groups who work with FSC on a custom book project can…

  • Earn revenue back from members’ ad purchases = new profit center;
  • Brand book project as a Chamber (or Rotary, etc.) sponsored whole community preparedness savings program;
  • Help fund your local first responders and emergency managers;
  • Promote Chamber (or Rotary Club, etc.) on a free page or 2 in book;
  • Recruit new members by offering a discount on annual dues if they purchase an ad;
  • Encourage members to offer discounts and freebies on day-to-day products and services;
  • Generate excitement in the community since people will save so much money they will want a new book every year;
  • Become a hero to your members for being involved in something so beneficial to the community and so affordable ~ especially since books and ads stay in front of people year-round. And, by offering extremely discounted ad rates as shown above, it allows all sizes of businesses to participate.

FSC can structure projects and donations back to the various groups in whatever manner works best for each community and partner.

It’s a true Whole Community public-private partnership program that generously funds nonprofits, agencies, volunteer groups, civic clubs and others while helping our nation become more prepared and resilient.

Learn more at www.fedhealthsc.com or download & share a 2-page PDF handout or call FSC at 520-907-2153 to plan out a book project for YOUR community … and let’s make a difference together!

Note: FSC will donate a portion of all proceeds to the U.S. First Responders Association.

FSC custom book preparedness program


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