Category Archives: Safety

American Airlines Boosts Its Clean Commitment With Sustained Virus-Killing Coating to Help Safeguard Customers From Coronavirus

americanLogoFORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines is upgrading its Clean Commitment by adding the electrostatic spraying solution SurfaceWise®2 from Allied BioScience to its multitiered cleaning and safety program in the coming months. The SurfaceWise2 solution is the first-ever long-lasting product to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus that is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The American Airlines Clean Commitment is our promise that we’re taking bold measures and using the latest products and technology to help ensure our customers’ well-being when they travel with us,” said David Seymour, American’s Chief Operating Officer. “Thanks to rigorous evaluations conducted by the experienced professionals at the EPA, the American Airlines team and Allied BioScience, our multitiered program will become even stronger at safeguarding our customers and team members from virus such as coronavirus and the flu.”

“SurfaceWise2’s long-lasting defense provides a layer of protection against viruses not offered by any other solutions on the market,” said Maha El-Sayed, PhD, Allied BioScience Chief Science Officer. We look forward to also seeing SurfaceWise2 used in offices, schools, gymnasiums and other high-traffic areas to support the nation in safely reopening.”

In the coming months, American will begin using SurfaceWise2 for electrostatic spraying on surfaces inside its aircraft with plans to use the product throughout its entire fleet, including those in its American Eagle regional partners. Other elements of the airline’s multitiered Clean Commitment, include enhanced aircraft cleaning performed before every mainline flight and an even deeper overnight cleaning.

“SurfaceWise2 creates an invisible barrier on surfaces, which physically breaks down and kills virus cells,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, a leading infectious disease expert. “This helps protect passengers and crew members against the transmission of coronavirus via surfaces, particularly on high-touch areas such as seats, armrests, tray tables and overhead bin doors.”

High-efficiency particulate air (commonly known as HEPA) filters have purified the air on American’s entire mainline fleet — and most regional jets — since the late 1990s. HEPA technology is also used in hospitals and medical facilities around the world, helping keep medical environments clear of bacteria and viruses while providing clean air.

American continues to build on its commitment to the safety and well-being of its customers and team members throughout their travel journey. The airline has implemented multiple layers of protection, including enhanced cleaning of American’s spaces in airports and its airplanes and enforcement of its face coverings policy. Only those under the age of 2 are exempt from wearing a face covering while traveling with American.

American has expanded the frequency of cleaning in airport areas under its control, including gate areas, ticket counters, passenger service counters, baggage service offices and team member rooms. Customers on every flight receive sanitizing wipes or gel, and American has also limited food and beverage delivery on board aircraft to reduce touchpoints between flight attendants and customers.

In addition to using SurfaceWise2 as its new electrostatic spraying solution in the coming months, every mainline aircraft is disinfected at every turn, including hand-cleaning seat buckles, seats, tray table and numerous other surfaces. Located in the seatback pocket, American Way magazine is now printed with a new paper treatment process called Biomaster®, which is an antimicrobial technology that helps prevent the growth of unwanted microbes.

American continues to work with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council for GBAC STAR® Accreditation for its fleet of aircraft and customer lounges. American is the first airline to seek GBAC STAR accreditation and expects to receive the designation by the end of 2020.

For more information, click HERE.

The City of Fort Worth will host the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS)

Screen Shot 2020-04-29 at 11.29.18 AMThe City of Fort Worth in conjunction with Battelle Memorial Institute, Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council (NCTTRAC) will begin accepting N95 filtration masks that have been used by First Responders or Health Care Professionals. Each mask will be inspected and complete a through decontamination process up to twenty times enhancing the life expectancy of this protective equipment important in the fight against Covid-19.

In order to allow current personal protective equipment (PPE) inventories to continue to stay above minimum numbers the FDA has approved Battelle to decontaminate N95 masks that are routinely considerable disposable. The site in Fort Worth will eventually be able to process up to 80,000 masks every 24 hours. The Battelle/Fort Worth site will serve as a regional hub and serve Texans from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods.

Health Care Organizations and First Responder Agencies will need to register with Battelle to receive information. “We are pleased to partner with a highly recognized organization such as Battelle to help coordinate this process of prolonging our PPE” said Ft. Worth Fire Chief James Davis. “It will allow Fort Worth to help our regional healthcare partners while continuing to provide care and maintain our inventory of N95 masks”.

For further information about Battelle and their process please visit their website at https://www.battelle.org.

How Many Flat Tires Are Worth an Officer’s Life?

By Chief Scott Hughes, CoP in Hamilton Township, OH

spike-strip-1Since the development of the tire deployment device (TDD), not a year has passed without the loss or serious injury of officers involved with their use—be it preparing for deployment, executing deployment, or post-deployment retrieval. Already, after just four months, 2020 has proven to be no different. These tragedies should make us rethink how we end high speed chases. Before diving into this subject, I will admit that in my younger years I, too, placed myself in some “risky” situations while deploying TDDs. If the suspect’s vehicle had swerved one way or another, I most likely would have become another statistic. I was lucky. 

Since 2000, an alarming number of officers have been killed during TDD-related incidents. Of those, over half were killed during some step of employing the devices on an interstate or state highway. In many cases, the suspect’s vehicle was traveling at very high speed, with one documented case of two female suspects traveling in excess of 140 M.P.H. when they struck and killed two police officers in Tennessee.

The risks of TDDs are inherently obvious and steps to mitigate those risks vary; from restricting use to complete prohibition. Cincinnati Police Department implemented a restrictive route after a young sergeant was hit by a pickup truck that was struck by a vehicle driven by a suspect who was high on heroin and fleeing police. The sergeant was in a coma for more than a week and sustained multiple serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury, a broken skull, fractured neck and a dissected carotid artery. He spent a year in a rehab center and ultimately took a medical disability retirement from the department.

The Dallas Police Department chose a more preemptive course of action, completely banning the use of TDDs several years ago. Although at the time of the decision, no Dallas officers had been injured or killed using the devices, but then Assistant Chief Mike Genovesi said, “It’s an officer safety issue. In a perfect world, they can be effective, but I have seen too many instances where the reality we live in is far from that. There’s a lot of danger, a lot of safety issues with them.”

Regardless of the chosen policy, I’m sure we can all agree on one thing. If your officers are given the option to use TDDs, they MUST be trained. That leads to the core question: How much training do we actually conduct on proper TDD deployment? In fact, how much training do we conduct—period—in a profession with so much risk?

While researching this article, I reviewed an instructor’s manual from a popular TDD manufacturer. The manual discusses how to deploy the device and even recommends having “all participants go to a controlled area (i.e., parking lot, large room, etc.) to demonstrate their proficiency in safely deploying…”

Herein lies the problem with not just TDDs, but the majority of our high risk/low frequency tasks in law enforcement. Out of the 30 officers killed in the last 20 years deploying TDDs, none of them were killed in a parking lot with no traffic, and certainly none were killed in a large room.

Are we failing our officers? You bet!

How many times have you heard an administrator, politician, community activist, or member of the media comment on the need to change law enforcement training? Yet, what’s our response? Making virtually no changes that will have a significant impact on the safety and lives of our officers. Of course, I admit there are certainly exceptions to this. However, when you look at our profession from a 30,000-foot view, what are we doing to combat the true risks our officers face on the streets? Are we incorporating reality and appropriate levels of stress into our training curriculums? Having officers deploy TDDs in a large room or a vacant parking lot will only contribute to the problem. These unrealistic settings will not prepare them to deal with the sudden onset of acute stress – which is exactly what occurs during a high-speed pursuit.

Many agencies have been using PIT maneuvers and rolling roadblocks for decades. However, in some departments these actions are prohibited and violate policy. Why would we allow officers to chase a suspect for miles and miles when a properly performed PIT maneuver could end the threat almost immediately? Liability? Fear of damage to a police cruiser and replacing a bumper? Seriously?

This is the issue. As leaders, we have to change the way we think. (By the way, for those of you utilizing the PIT and/or rolling roadblocks, kudos)! The cost to replace a bumper or fix damage to a police car is nothing compared to burying a police officer.

Legislative changes need to be enacted in parts of the country that make fleeing from the police – regardless of the crime, distance, speed, or suspect’s past – a crime that immediately results in mandatory prison time. Send a message to those who flee: your actions will make jail time certain.

If you are going to continue utilizing TDDs, here are some tips and reminders on do’s and don’ts for deployment:

  • Under no circumstances should TDDs be used on Interstate highways. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Officers should be cognizant of the lack of visibility when deploying TDDs at night or in adverse weather conditions.
  • Agencies should prohibit the use of TDDs when suspect speeds become excessive.
  • Any officer preparing to deploy a TDD should confirm that pursuing units are aware of his/her location and significantly reduce their speed when approaching the location of the TDDs.
  • If a suspect vehicle successfully “hits” the TDDs, the officer deploying the TDD should immediately notify the pursuing units and advise when the TDDs and involved officers have cleared the roadway, making it safe to pass the location.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of TDD deployments are successful and officers take the violators into custody. Therefore, TDDs will most likely continue to be a tool utilized by many law enforcement agencies. Technology is also improving and new tools are being developed to assist law enforcement in apprehending fleeing vehicles. From GPS tracking darts to remote controlled TDDs, we are making improvements in ways to successfully end high speed chases.

A fellow chief who I hold in high regard shared one of the most profound statements I’ve heard in my career:

“Risk is baked into the cake of law enforcement.”

That simple observation stuck with me. We’ve all chosen to eat the cake. It’s what we do. But the deeper you bite in, the more risk you choose to accept. I’m not saying that’s a bad decision. It’s not. But it’s a decision we need to make wisely and with great planning.

The key is training. If you choose to prohibit the use of TDDs, I respect and understand that decision. If you choose to continue to allow your officers the option of using TDDs, then train them! Train them WELL, while seriously considering steps you can take as an administrator to mitigate the risks they may not fully consider in real-time in the field.

Be safe, be smart, be successful!

 

Here’s Where You Can Get A COVID-19 Test For Free In DFW

BY WILL MADDOX 

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A COVID-19 mobile testing facility in New York, not unlike what you’ll find at Ellis Davis Field House and the American Airlines Center. ((U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Amouris Coss // Flickr Creative Commons)

MD Medical Group will be offering free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at nine of its DFW clinics. The tests will still require patients to be screened for flu and strep throat prior to COVID-19 testing, and appointments are required.

The state of Texas has some of the worst testing rates, and researchers predict that many of the hardest hit areas will be low-income neighborhoods in Dallas, which is also lacking data about who has been tested so far. Making testing geographically and financially accessible is important if the virus is going to be contained.

Read more from D Magazine…

DFW animal shelters recommend pet owners create an emergency plan

Dog wearing a mask is seen on a street following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in ShanghaiThe shelters – Dallas Animal Services, Fort Worth Animal Care and Control, the Humane Society of North Texas, Irving Animal Services, SPCA of Texas and Tri-City Animal Services – recommend preparing a supply kit for your pet as a backup plan for pet care or boarding if you become hospitalized.

“Your family must have a plan in place to ensure your pets receive proper care if you were to fall ill with COVID-19 or unable to visit the store for an extended period of time,” said Ed Jamison, director of Dallas Animal Services. “The past few weeks have shown us just how quickly this situation can change and it’s important to prepare for any possibility.”

The shelters recommend staying up-to-date on COVID-19 facts from sources like the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the American Veterinary Medicine Association.

“If admitted to the hospital, the ideal plan is for your pet to stay at home and receive care from another family member,” said Dr. Tim Morton of Fort Worth Animal Care and Control. “However, it’s important to prepare for all possible scenarios, so we recommend requesting help from a friend or neighbor.”

In addition to considering emergency boarding, shelters recommend updating your pet’s microchip information and preparing an emergency supply kit for your pet, which should include:

  • Two weeks’ worth of food and medication.
  • Vaccination records and veterinarian’s contact information.
  • Collar with ID tags.
  • Daily pet care instructions.
  • A crate, leash, carrier and toys or treats.

For assistance obtaining pet food or medical care for pets, visit the SPCA of Texas’ Pet Resource Center.

For pet owners in need, pet food is available through Don’t Forget to Feed Me, 5825 E Rosedale St., and the Community Food Bank, 3000 Galvez Ave.

Proper care is important for all members of the family, even the four-legged ones.

Source: https://texaspolicenews.com/default.aspx?act=Newsletter.aspx&category=News+1-2&newsletterid=73018&menugroup=Home

Grapevine Police arrest a man for coughing into an officer’s face, claiming he has Coronavirus

NEWS RELEASE

Dechoudens, Jonathan

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GRAPEVINE, TX – Grapevine Police arrested a man for coughing into an officer’s face and claiming he had coronavirus. 27-year-old Jonathan Dechoudens is charged with Harassment of a Public Servant, a 3rd degree felony. 

On Friday, April 3, at approximately 12:45am, a Grapevine Police officer was sitting in his marked patrol unit in a parking lot off of Northwest Highway, with his driver’s side window down. Dechoudens ran up to his window and began to cough in his face, stating he was infected with coronavirus. When the officer confronted Dechoudens, he was told it was a joke. 

The officer, fearing exposure to the potentially life-threatening illness, called in additional units and medics to screen Dechoudens for symptoms. Once cleared, Jonathan Dechoudens was arrested and booked into jail. He was first booked for Terroristic Threat, but after consultation with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, the charge was changed to Harassment of Public Servant.

The Grapevine Police officer who was coughed on continues to monitor his health daily, and remains free of symptoms. He was cleared to continue working, and is temperature-checked before beginning each shift, as are all employees who enter the Grapevine Public Safety Building.

The Grapevine Police Department values the safety of the community and its officers, and will continue to ensure that all first responders do their part to slow the spread of the virus. This includes wearing personal protective gear (PPE) as needed, utilizing sanitizing liquids and wipes, and checking all suspects for symptoms of coronavirus before they are taken to jail. Anyone who claims they are trying to give the virus to another person will face charges.

Update on GCISD news: School closures extended through at least May 4

GCISDLogo_GreenNew_050813bTuesday afternoon, during a press conference, Governor Greg Abbott announced an extension of statewide school closures through at least May 4. Governor Abbott was joined by Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. The Executive Order for Texas mirrors an announcement recently by President Donald Trump.

During this time, GCISD will still continue to provide meals and emergency curbside technology support. The district has closed its playgrounds and encourages families to stay home, avoid contact within six feet of other people and follow social-distancing directives for essential activities only as outlined by county and state officials. For more information about GCISD’s response to the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 website at www.gcisd.net/COVID19.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD to be closed March 16 – 27

NEWS RELEASE

GCISDLogo_GreenNew_050813bA number of public school districts in north Texas are announcing a two-week closure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. After collaborating with state and county health officials and other education leaders this morning, GCISD will be closed March 16-27, along with the cancellation of all extracurricular activities and school events during the same period. This was a recommendation from the Tarrant County Health Department. We will reevaluate the situation at the end of this closure before making any other long-term announcements.

The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority. The goals of this announced closure are to help prevent the spread of disease and to give our staff additional time to plan for continuity of services should it become necessary for public schools to close for longer. We ask each of you to do your part to help prevent the spread of disease by staying home and limiting your attendance at social gatherings and large public events. Wash your hands regularly and isolate yourself if you begin experiencing symptoms like fever, coughing or shortness of breath. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Tarrant County Health Department is available on our website. The cancellation of mass gathering events can dramatically help flatten the curve for the spread of the coronavirus disease.  

We acknowledge that an unexpected school closure creates a hardship on our parents and staff because of work, childcare and other considerations. But we hope you know our efforts coming to this decision have been done with the best interest of everyone involved. We also know and understand that for many low income students, school is the one place that they can count on for meals and support. To that end, we are all committed to taking care of our most vulnerable populations. Our staff will be planning and preparing to assist students who might need support during an extended closure.

GCISD employees need to be available to work when requested during this closure. We will communicate directly with staff members regarding their specific roles and responsibilities in our prevention planning.

GCISD will send more information to families as it becomes available.

Here’s why people are panic buying and stockpiling toilet paper to cope with coronavirus fears

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Photo: CNBC

Panic buying has been rife amid the global spread of the new coronavirus, with consumers around the world stockpiling goods like hand sanitizer, canned foods and toilet paper.

Psychologists spoke to CNBC to weigh in on why our brains push us to panic buy — even when authorities are assuring the public there’s no need to.

According to Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist at the University of the Arts London, the short answer can be found in the psychology of “retail therapy” — where we buy to manage our emotional state.

Read more from CNBC…

Police searching for injured bobcat in Grapevine

By Catherine Marfin, Breaking News Reporter

Grapevine police are searching for an injured bobcat near Parr Park Sprayground.

Police said in a tweet that the bobcat stepped on an illegal foot trap and might become aggressive if approached.

Grapevine police are working with the game warden and neighboring agencies in order to safely capture the bobcat and assess its injury.

Anyone who sees the bobcat should call 911.

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Read more from The Dallas Morning News