As I was preparing to write this article on an event twenty years ago today, I noticed the headline that a shooting has just occurred in a Connecticut elementary school with 28 dead, 20 of them children.
I was laid up in bed with my still swollen ankle propped up on a pillow, a zip-lock bag of now melted snow pressed against it. A much-abused copy of Billy Joel's Kohept played on the stereo across the room. The room was sweltering, the window next to me open wide and the snow long-since melted from the overhang, but I wasn't going to limp down the stairs to adjust the thermostat back down again. A knobbed stick lay propped against my milk-crate nightstand surmounted by an ugly lamp, which was now off, the room lit dimly by the lamp-posts of the small cluster of upper class modular apartments, Mods, nestled in the snowy woods. A stack of untouched textbooks lay between me and the window, a Weis and Hickman novel closed and marked on the sill itself.
Samaritan's Purse, the international Christian relief organization, is still recruiting individuals and teams, including youth groups, to help rebuild homes devastated by the Joplin EF-5 tornado. As we approach the holiday season and look forward to spending time visiting with family, it is important to remember that some of our neighbors are still without homes.
Incidentally, today, the 11th of November, is the Feast of Saint Martin of Tours (see also Wikipedia), the Catholic Saint represented by the forked tail of our banner. St. Martin was a Roman knight born in 316 AD, who is most known for cutting his rich cloak in two to clothe a naked beggar on the road outside of Amiens.
"Successful resuscitation from cardiac arrest was optimized at 100–120 compressions/minute."
A recent study appearing in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services ("Study Determines Optimal Chest Compression Rate") examined results of rescuer CPR for optimal blood flow and best patient survival to hospital discharge. The study largely confirmed the belief that rates of compression over 100 per minute were best but also established that rates of compression over 120 per minute decreased victim survival rate.
Johns Hopkins University recently published a White Paper entitled "Case for Gun Policy Reform In America"[bib]201[/bib]. This article will respond to that paper and comment on the larger issues from the context of an organization like the Sheriff's Auxiliary.
Updated 16 October:
We have permission from the Fairfax County, VA CERT to use and adapt their CERT Radio Fundamentals course materials as well as the go ahead from our Sheriff. It has been gone through by our Communications Officer and a local ARES member and there is agreement that it can be taught with only minor changes or even with no changes the first time through. We have at least two possible venues, being the First Baptist Church and the MARC in Mount Vernon, both of which will allow us to send teams off to different rooms for the practical exercises. We are targetting five hours total for the two course sections (section I, short exercise, section II, short exercise) and may be able to do it in four. Now we need to come up with some possible dates and shedule the first run through for somewhere between 12 and 20 people.
Last night at the Barry/Lawrence ARES meeting in Monett, I told people about the SEMA Disaster Support Mapbooks, a set of 1:25000 Missouri atlases, one atlas per county, using the US National Grid (USNG) Coordinate Reference System (CRS), in a Geospatial PDF format (readable by most PDF viewers with some applications providing more features than others).
The LCSA is exploring local deployment of the prototype LifeNet software stack as "a WiFi-based data communication solution designed for post-disaster scenarios". LifeNet is a fault-tolerant multipath routing framework which uses COTS (Commodity Off-The-Shelf) 802.11.x WiFi equipment to route emergency traffic from device to device until it can reach functioning infrastructure.