Navigation Links
Operation Vigilant Sample: First responder training for suspicious powders

A team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with the U.S. National Guard on a coordinated effort to train emergency first responders in the delicate and potentially critical task of securing reliable samples of suspected biothreats. The project, dubbed "Operation Vigilant Sample," seeks to coordinate training programs for first responders at the state, local and federal levels based on newly developed sample collection protocols.

NIST serves as an objective third party to evaluate how well the standards are being integrated into practice, and to develop quantitative metrics to evaluate training exercises, according to Jayne Morrow, an environmental engineer at NIST who led the development of the standard, which was released last year.*

"The aim of the operation is to provide a training lane that can help standardize the interface between initial local, state and federal responders to make sure everyone gets what they need from a collected sample of suspicious material, including providing a solid chain of custody," says Morrow. "Our goal here at NIST is to help integrate standards and training so that everyone from first responders to investigators knows they can rely on that sample."

The National Guard has 57 Civil Support Teams (CSTs) around the country that serve as the first wave of federal response to domestic chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents. The teams assess suspected attacks, advise civilian responders, and facilitate the arrival of additional state and federal military forces. Operation Vigilant Sample will help the CSTs by providing consistent training among the first responders with whom they work.

In February, 2011, NIST participated in a 72-hour Operation Vigilant Sample exercise at the army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md. "After leading development of the ASTM standards relied on in the exercises," explains Morrow, "we are now assisting the community with integration by evaluating how well coordinated and effective were the communications as the operation unfolded, and to see what additional standards are still needed."

"The Operation Vigilant Sample exercises have allowed the various state and federal responders an opportunity to develop their standard operating procedures in a collaborative manner," explains Capt. Bryon Marsh of the National Guard Bureau. "As national guidance such as the ASTM standards become available to responders, it is important that we have the opportunity to incorporate them as a community and standardize our response efforts."

In addition to these exercises and establishing training and standards, NIST is working with its partners at various agencies to enhance coordination between first responders, public health laboratories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory response network, Federal Bureau of Investigation weapons of mass destruction coordinators, and the National Guard's CSTs.

"Our participation in Operation Vigilant Sample is part of a larger effort to support the training of first responders, and it's a chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ASTM standards," says Morrow. "This is all about response planning, getting together before something happens and seeing that standards are integrated into the community. Field exercises are one critical element to successful integration and a well-coordinated response."


Contact: Jennifer Huergo
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related biology news :

1. Sweetpotato foundation seed tested in commercial operations
2. Large numbers of birth defects seen near mountaintop mining operations
3. New information provides sustainable options for greenhouse operations
4. University of Minnesota licenses online tool that facilitates tech transfer operations to startup
5. European Commission and EMBL renew cooperation
6. Operation makes dementia patients faster and smarter
7. Up to 20 million euros for Munich Catalysis research cooperation
8. Cooperation in diabetes research
9. John P. Holdren addresses climate change, stressing need for international cooperation
10. ARS, industry cooperation yields device to detect insects in stored wheat
11. Leading entomologist to give talk at UCR on communication and cooperation in ant societies
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Paris Police ... video security solution to ensure the safety of people and ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international technology ... services, announced today that its video security solution will be ... back up public safety across the country. The system roll-out ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM ... which consumers will be able to interact with IBM Watson ... or text and receive relevant information about the product or ... long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one ... valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoints. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... just published their findings on what they believe could be a new and ... of the new research. Click here to read it now. , ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... a mission to bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare ... development and implementation of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Liquid Biotech USA , Inc. ... Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ("PENN") ... patients.  The funding will be used to assess ... outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety of ... to support the design of a therapeutic, decision-making ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range ... place between the two entities said Poloz. Speaking ... Ottawa , he pointed to the country,s inflation ... federal government. "In ... "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not sit down ...
Breaking Biology Technology: