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New research outlines public health consequences
Longitudinal studies of firefighters, rescue workers and other personnel who responded to the collapse of the World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001 attacks have confirmed the presence of a positive relationship between the intensity and duration of their exposures to airborne pollutants and the severity of their pulmonary symptoms. (2004-05-03)

Researchers awarded $2 million to create high-tech tools for fighting wildfires
A team of researchers, including a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has been awarded $2 million to develop an advanced,computer-generated, data-driven system that will send real-time maps and predictions of a wildfire's next moves to wildfire incident management teams hundreds of miles away. (2004-04-15)

Researchers receive funds to create high-tech wildfire fighting solutions
Frontline fire fighting could soon go high tech. In the not so distant future, analysts using supercomputers may be able to send real-time maps and predictions of a wildfire's next moves to wildfire management teams hundreds of miles away. That crucial information could be passed on to palm pilots and other wireless devices in the hands of frontline firefighters deciding how best to battle the blaze. (2004-04-15)

News briefs from the journal CHEST, April 2004
In studies published in the April issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, findings include: First responders to WTC collapse hit hardest with respiratory ailments; WTC ironworkers afflicted with respiratory problems; and, Lung damage from second-hand smoke increases with exposure. (2004-04-12)

Scars of 9/11 linger with NYC firefighters
New York City firefighters are able to create effective self-managing workplace teams, but the trauma of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks continues to take its toll, with more depression, anxiety and stress experienced by those who were there when the Twin Towers fell, a new report for Cornell University shows. (2004-04-02)

NYC firefighters and EMS workers go tobacco-free
Since the launch of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Tobacco Cessation Program in August 2002, nearly 400 firefighters and EMS workers have participated in the educational tobacco-free programs, with more than half becoming tobacco-free at 3-months. Year-One results of the FDNY Tobacco Cessation Program were presented this week at a press conference in Orlando, Florida, during CHEST 2003, the annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). (2003-10-29)

Developing elevators that function during fires
In the aftermath of the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. fire experts are beginning to advocate the use of elevators in high-rise buildings throughout a fire, both to carry firefighters to the site of the blaze and as a secondary method (after stairwells) for evacuating building occupants. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has joined others to study ways to build (2003-10-23)

Energy Department-funded projects win 35 R&D awards
Researchers at Department of Energy laboratories and companies with research funded by DOE have won 35 of the 100 awards given this year by R&D Magazine for the most outstanding technology developments with commercial potential. Examples of their work include: a carbon-based coating harder and slicker than Teflon and an adaptive optics system that combines technologies from astronomy and micromachining to advance the study and treatment of retinal diseases. (2003-09-25)

New technology helps fire managers anticipate smoke problems
BlueSkyRAINS is a technology that allows fire professionals and ordinary citizens to coordinate outdoor activities around fire operations. It is currently being used daily by incident command teams for about 100 wildfires in the Western States. (2003-09-15)

Fire on French Riviera
A month after an earlier blaze was quelled, fire returned to the forested hills above the French Riviera this week. Since last Sunday many hundreds of hectares of woodland have been incinerated. The damage done is seen from space in this image acquired by ESA's Proba satellite this week. (2003-09-04)

NIST developing virtual reality training tool for firefighters
NIST is developing a virtual reality simulation of fire situations that will enable fire professionals to demonstrate and test firefighting tactics on computers without risk to life and limb. (2003-08-12)

Inside the Glacier fire
A mobile Doppler radar tracking the twists and turns of air billowing around a wildland fire in Montana has gathered data that will shed light on fire dynamics and could help improve forecasting of these intense blazes and their weather impacts. Doppler on Wheels, a truck-mounted radar best known for its pioneering studies of tornadoes and hurricanes, probed the Robert Fire near Glacier National Park from July 30 through August 1. (2003-08-04)

Wireless network provides critical link in battle to control California's Coyote Wildfire
After lightning touched off the Coyote Fire July 16, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) deployed more than 1,700 firefighters, 10 helicopters and several bulldozers to battle the blaze. To provide Internet communications for the CDF operations camp, researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and San Diego State University deployed a high-speed wireless link to the remote site in northeastern San Diego County within hours of a request for help. (2003-07-28)

Yale researcher discovers 'brain temperature tunnel'
Yale researcher M. Marc Abreu, M.D., has identified an area of the brain he calls the brain temperature tunnel, which transmits brain temperature to an area of skin and has the potential to prevent death from heat stroke and hypothermia, and detect infectious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). (2003-07-15)

Ensuring the safety of first responder gas masks
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has teamed up with other federal agencies to develop a full suite of gas mask standards for civilian workers. Most military uses involve outdoor attacks where air currents would naturally disperse chemicals or other hazardous agents. The civilian testing procedures address release of a hazardous agent inside buildings or other closed environments. (2003-06-10)

9/11 has led to greater prudence in engineering design
Engineering professors Thomas O'Rourke and Linda Nozick, and Arthur Lembo, research associate in crop and soil sciences, have analyzed the damage to utilities in the 9/11 attack. The results will be in a book, Impacts of and Human Response to the September 11, 2001 Disasters: What Research Tells Us. (2003-05-29)

Patient simulator will enhance training for medical emergencies in space
A lifelike mannequin will teach astronauts, flight surgeons and other mission personnel how to effectively manage medical emergencies in space. The simulator breathes, has a heartbeat, pupils that react to light and medications, a pulse at five locations, and lung sounds. Training scenarios will prepare crews for problems that might occur on long-duration missions. (2003-01-17)

Study finds EMS is risky occupation
Little has been known about the occupational risks for emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, but a new study in the December 2002 Annals of Emergency Medicine, finds it is a far more hazardous profession than previously believed. Only four previous studies have evaluated EMS injuries, but most provided limited data. (2002-11-26)

9/11 has important lessons for mental health workers
While New York's firefighters and police officers have been widely honored for their heroism in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the city's mental health professionals waged a quieter, but in some ways equally heroic effort - to organize a large-scale response to help local residents cope with severe stress and grief. (2002-09-09)

Human Factors/Ergonomics contributes to combating terrorism
The Winter ERGONOMICS IN DESIGN describes human factors/ergonomics work that has contributed to improved commercial aviation, Special Forces training, and intelligence analysis. Also noted are other HF/E areas that should be factored into counterterrorism efforts, including sustained attention, collaborative teamwork in time-critical conditions, visual search, personnel selection and training, and information technology. (2002-04-01)

ORNL material could help pilots keep their cool
Staying cool under fire could take on a new meaning with a personal cooling system being developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The system takes advantage of high thermal conductivity graphite foam, an ORNL material that boasts thermal conductivity five times greater than aluminum. As envisioned by James Klett, the system would provide chilled air to circulate within the suit and helmet of a fighter pilot. (2002-03-15)

Mayor Bloomberg proclaims March 11th 'NYU Downtown Hospital'
On September 11, 2001 with less than 10 minutes to prepare, NYU Downtown Hospital organized the most extensive disaster response ever undertaken by a U.S. hospital. Now known to the world as (2002-03-08)

Fluids, electrolytes key to good health for firefighters
Since the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, images of exhausted firefighters have been imprinted on the national psyche. While operations in New York City were an extreme example of what firefighters may face, University of Illinois researchers say the most significant problems are caused by heat strain and stresses to the cardiovascular system. (2001-11-01)

Two new studies look at role of personality and work demands in health and safety on the job
Two new studies find that personality and job complexity can influence the health and safety of industrial workers and firefighters. (2001-07-15)

Student-made window guard may save kids from deadly falls
Two Johns Hopkins undergraduates have invented a new type of locking window guard to protect kids in high-rise apartments. It can easily be opened from the inside by adults, but not young children, and from the outside by firefighters, but not thieves. (2001-05-31)

Firefighters' greatest danger may not be fires
Firefighters save hundreds of lives each year. It may be time to save their own. A study by the Applied Exercise Science Laboratory at Texas A&M University shows that firemen are often at high risk for heart attacks primarily because they get little or no exercise while on duty. (2001-05-02)

New sound gun can detect dangerous chemicals
How do you tell the difference between an ordinary fuel drum and a barrel of nerve gas? Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico claim they can identify the contents of a drum in about 30 seconds with a new handheld sound gun. (1999-10-26)

Virtual reality training tool pits emergency rescue teams against computerized terrorist attack
Sandia computer scientists have combined seven years of virtual reality research into BioSimMER, a VR application that immerses first responders in a 3-D computer-simulated setting -- a small airport in which a biological warfare agent has been dispersed following a terrorist bombing. Simulated casualties with a variety of symptoms are found throughout the airport. BioSimMER can help emergency personnel make better decisions if ever they are called on to respond in a real attack. (1999-09-23)

NCAR scientists seek clues to wildfires during Alaska prescribed burn
Scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research will fly over a prescribed blaze in the Alaskan forest seeking clues to how violent and seemingly unpredictable forest fires spread. Between July 8 and July 31, if conditions are right, the burn will be set on 2,000 acres northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. (1999-07-08)

Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon receives $6.5 million to fund studies on health of adolescents and firefighters
The first study titled Promoting Healthy Lifestyles:Alternate Models' Effect (PHLAME) is a four-year program with a $1.8 million grant that will study two methods of improving the exercise and diets of firefighters. The second grant in the amount of $4.5 million, is for a five-year study called Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA), which will attempt to prevent eating disorders and drug use among adolescent female athletes. (1999-05-19)

NSF grant brings 'Virtual Worlds' to life
Using a $1.3-million NSF grant, an interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Richard R. Muntz, the chairman of UCLA's computer science department, have drawn from research in fields as diverse as architecture, computer science and psychology to develop three-dimensional computer models for the (1999-05-13)

NCAR Scientists And Instruments To Fly Over Raging Wildfires
Beginning September 1, scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder will fly a highly instrumented C-130 research aircraft around dangerous wildfires that may ignite this season within the U.S. Their goal is to understand wildfire behavior well enough to predict the course of a particular fire. (1998-08-20)

Vietnam Combat Linked To Many Diseases 20 Years Later
Veterans of heavy combat in Vietnam who were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder are significantly more likely to have a host of both chronic and infectious diseases as long as 20 years later, a medical researcher found after studying the medical histories of 1,399 veterans. (1997-11-21)

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