Disaster Preparedness Naturally occurring and man-made disasters pose daunting challenges to governments worldwide. One of Gryphon's chief goals is to develop tools and best practices to help public health and emergency management authorities create efficient disaster response plans to deliver effective relief services and humanitarian assistance.
Evaluating Public Health Preparedness Systems
For the Biodefense Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of HHS (through a contract with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-AHRQ), Gryphon has evaluated the ability of preparedness systems to adequately address the casualties produced by weapons of mass destruction. Gryphon modeled the cost and benefit of supplying a variety of medical countermeasures through national stockpiles, a vendor-managed inventory held by the manufacturers, or through stocks held at hospitals close to high-risk targets. We developed a sophisticated, flexible model that enables policy makers to explore how various options for the interplay of various delivery components affect the cost of the overall system and the casualties that result from the scenario. Using this methodology, Gryphon recently evaluated the systems to distribute anti-neutropenic compounds in the aftermath of a nuclear or radiological attack. Gryphon is currently examining triage protocols for the prioritization of trauma patients after a nuclear incident. We are developing a modeling tool to determine the lives saved after implementation of competing triage strategies to help decision makers choose the triage protocol that will be promulgated in guidance documents.
Catastrophic Disaster Incident Planning
For FEMA, Gryphon Scientific conducted an overview and analysis of international catastrophic incidences to gather empirical data (research) and conduct interviews/surveys as necessary to validate previously identified national requirements in the first 72 hours of a catastrophic event. As part of this project, Gryphon staff reviewed the response operations of the Haiti 2010 Earthquake, the Gulf Coast 2005 major hurricanes, and the Southeast Asian Tsunami of 2004. Gryphon supports FEMA’s CBRNE division with particular emphasis on the Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) Program. Gryphon is focused on addressing several of the capability gaps identified in the IND strategy, identifying courses of action for the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOT-MLPF) gap areas within the core document, analyzing interagency issues across the CBRNE program, and providing general support to the CBRNE program.
Pandemic Influenza Exercise Facilitation
Gryphon Scientific recently participated in the execution of an AFRICOM Pandemic Influenza exercise in West Africa. We provided language expertise as well as planning and facilitation skills to assist with exercise execution. We worked closely with AFRICOM personnel as well as personnel from the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM) in coordinating and conducting the exercise. In addition, we helped construct the AFRICOM after-action report to contribute to analysis of both the West African regional exercise, but also the larger AFRICOM AI/PI exercise program.
Training Construction Workers on Biological Disaster Response
Under an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Gryphon is developing and testing a case-based online curriculum designed to prepare skilled support personnel to work safely in biologically contaminated environments in the event they are called on to respond to an intentional or naturally occurring biological hazard. The World Trade Center clean-up focused national attention on the inadequate training for “skilled support personnel”– workers in trades (including construction, demolition and transportation) deployed to remove debris or transport supplies during a disaster relief operation. Since emergency response protocols are not routinely practiced by skilled support personnel, one-shot trainings—even with periodic refreshers– are unlikely to be remembered at the time personnel are mobilized for disaster response. This project will develop an online multi-media, interactive training application available to skilled support personnel for pre-incident training as well as a just-in-time reference. Designed to supplement basic training in disaster response, the application will focus on health and safety practices relevant to disease transmitted by aerosolized agents, blood or bodily fluids, person-to-person contact, or insect and animal vectors. Training will cover routes of exposure and applicable diseases, engineering and work practice controls, personal protective equipment and barriers, decontamination and disposal procedures, and post-exposure protocols. Case studies will enable trainees to apply their knowledge by developing exposure control plans in response to simulated events involving biological hazards. Following the core curriculum, participants will have two opportunities to connect with peers and instructors: an asynchronous online discussion forum linked to the product and virtual office hours or webcasts geared to provide real-time opportunities for discussion and questions.
Assessing Civilian Emergency Management Capabilities
Gryphon currently supports the Henry Jackson Foundation (HJF) in support of the Disaster Preparedness Program (DP3) at US Africa Command (AFRICOM). For AFRICOM, we have worked closely with the program managers as well as country-team personnel to roll out a pilot program assessing country’s civilian emergency management capabilities throughout Africa. We currently provide general support to the DP3 program and participate in the in-country review of emergency management activities, create after-action reports, and have written the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the program. In addition, we are conducting a meta-analysis of the program activities throughout the region and will assess the effectiveness of the program against US AFRICOM’s goals as well as country and regional goals.