The National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) prepared the “Optimizing Radioactive Contamination Screening at Community Reception Centers Report” to provide emergency response organizations with technical guidance for deploying CRC radiation detection equipment to optimize screening efficiency.
National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL)
Congratulations to S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory—America’s principal federal laboratory for first responder technology testing and evaluation—on reaching this major milestone of service to our nation.
It is critical for first responders and emergency planners to have access to realistic plume models and simulations when conducting radiological emergency preparedness activities. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate funded the development of three new tools, available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC), that offer emergency managers, first responders, and exercise coordinators several options to access plume models and interactive simulations for exercises, trainings, and emergency planning activities.
The majority of radiation detection instruments are purchased for interdiction and prevention missions, so emergency responders may not realize that some of them can also be used for response and recovery missions. For radiological and nuclear incident preparedness, it is essential for first responders to know which of their instruments are suitable for use in response and recovery operations, how to use them safely and appropriately, and how the data they collect may inform critical health and safety decisions.
Responders need a portable, intuitive technology that can be set up quickly and alert them of shooting incidents instantaneously and provide them critical information ahead of their on-scene arrival. DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) funded the research and development of a portable outdoor Gunshot Detection System (GDS) with the intention of improving emergency response time and identifying shooter locations. The GDS consists of Guardian outdoor gunshot detection sensors and Guardian Gateway (GW) and situational awareness (SA) applications.
A technology that detects the presence of life (people) through building walls and displays their location and movement would be a game-changing tool for SWAT teams, giving them valuable situational awareness before breaching a room. Similarly, this technology would be invaluable to law enforcement officers searching for kidnapping or human trafficking victims. DHS S&T awarded a contract to MaXentric Technologies, LLC (MaXentric) to develop three radar sensor Detection of the Presence of Life (DePLife) prototypes.
Following a radiological release, whether from an accident or a terrorist act, local response agencies can set up community reception centers (CRCs) to screen the public for radioactive contamination. Before people enter a CRC for final screening, they would be prescreened using personal radiation detectors (PRDs) while they stand on a small platform with another PRD under it to detect radioactivity on their shoes. Because the shoe-screening PRD is hidden beneath the platform, that PRD’s alarm light cannot be seen and CRC personnel must rely on its audible alarm. Unfortunately, the platform muffles the alarm sound, making it hard to hear in a noisy environment.
Host Deepak Saini is joined by Orly Amir, program manager for Radiological/Nuclear Response and Recovery (RNRR) at S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL). Orly, a proud New Yorker, explains how this research and development program boosts preparedness for communities of all sizes across our nation and reveals why she finds planning for disasters to be fulfilling rather than stressful. You’ll appreciate the importance of NUSTL’s role in enhancing first responder capabilities and learn about the successful tools, models, and guidance the RNRR program provides.
DHS S&T OpEx Program and the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) hosted a weeklong Urban OpEx where first responders evaluated new and emerging technology solutions in realistic, urban settings throughout the New York Metropolitan area.