After reviewing the current threat environment, the Department of Homeland Security last week reissued its National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin. According to the department, foreign terrorist organizations continue to exploit the internet to inspire, enable and direct individuals in the U.S. to commit terrorist acts. The department encourages those who observe suspicious activity to report it to law enforcement and to be prepared for security threats.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the release of a new Blast Injury mobile application to assist in the response and clinical management of injuries resulting from terrorist bombings and other mass casualty explosive events. The application provides clear, concise, up-to-date medical and healthcare systems information to assist healthcare providers and public health professionals in the preparation, response, and management of injuries resulting from terrorist bombing events.
The California State Threat Assessment System is an all hazards Information Sharing partnership of Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies throughout California. The System connects Suspicious Activity Reporting and incidents that may have a possible Terrorism or Homeland Security nexus with law enforcement statewide through a network of interconnected Regional Threat Assessment Centers (RTACs) in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento.
These Regional Centers are directly connected to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and provide regional analysis and assessment of events, including patterns and trends, to deter, detect and prevent terrorism in California. Additionally, the State Threat Assessment Center (STAC), also in Sacramento, is a partnership of the California Highway Patrol and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, whose focus is statewide analysis of incidents, trends and patterns to help identify larger threats and protect key and critical infrastructure.
Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) programs such as “If You See Something, Say Something” are active across the country and help communities deter crime, violent incidents, and in some cases prevent terrorism. The idea is simple, but for first responders/receivers there are particular activities to look for depending on your sector.
This training module can easily be added to any in-house training for new employees or yearly refresher training for established personnel. The new training module joins others disciplines such as public safety telecommunications, fire/EMS, emergency management, maritime, and more. Those completing the training successfully can print a certificate.
All hospitals should know what suspicious activity is and how it should be reported. All hospitals should also know which threat assessment center they fall under and maintain contact information.
This Information Bulletin contains information gained from federal, state and local public safety sources with expertise in explosives and response to explosives incidents. As with any public safety issue, local agencies must determine local policies and procedures. Note that a subsequent Information Bulletin will be issued, to include information for use when responding to a suspected bomber, if the call is received prior to an actual detonation.