Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Jet Suit Tested for Paramedics in the UK
EDM Wednesday Briefing: Jet Suit Tested for Paramedics in the UK

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Jet Suit Tested for Paramedics in the UK


Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 30, 2020: Rapid growth of the Glass Fire caused the damage or destruction of at least 80 structures; Santa Clara County is set to begin draining the Anderson Dam Reservoir Thursday to avoid a catastrophic dam failure; a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, was hit with a cyberattack last week, forcing them to take their computer systems offline; a paramedic jet suit underwent its first test flight in the United Kingdom earlier this week; limited resources are posing challenges to firefighters working to gain control of the Zogg Fire; multiple evacuations, road closures and school closures are in place for the rapidly expanding Zogg Fire; weather forecasters in Australia are tracking the development of a La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean for its impact to their weather, including tropical cyclones; and the latest run of the Cameron Peak Fire destroyed 81 structures, including homes.

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1) The Glass Fire, which started very early on Sunday in California, has already scorched over 48,440 acres with little containment achieved. Flames have destroyed at least 80 homes — 52 in Napa County and another 28 in Sonoma County — while aircraft operations have been hampered by poor visibility due to wind changes that have increased fire activity. Fire officials report that hot, dry weather is forecast from Wednesday through Friday, which will likely prompt Red Flag Warnings in the area of the wildfire.

2) On Thursday, Santa Clara County will begin draining the reservoir that sits behind the earthen Anderson Dam. Federal dam regulators concluded in February that the dam was at high risk of a catastrophic failure should it be involved in an earthquake, and ordered the Anderson Reservoir drained and the dam repaired and upgraded. The repairs to the dam are projected to take about 10 years, and area residents are concerned that other issues will now arise, including landslides, fish and wildlife loss, and the loss of water supplies for firefighters who are battling nearby wildfires. The Anderson Reservoir helps provide water and flood control for about two million people in communities throughout the region in California and is one of 10 dams operated by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

3) Elective procedures have been on hold for at least a week at a Cleveland, Ohio, area hospital after it experienced a cyberattack. Hackers encrypted files and shutdown computers at the Ashtabula County Medical Center early last week, then demanded a ransom to restore the hospital's systems. According to cybersecurity experts, attacks against hospitals are on the rise, with this being the 53rd U.S. healthcare facility to be attacked this year.

4) A paramedic jet suit underwent its first test flight in the United Kingdom earlier this week. The suit, designed specifically for paramedics, would e enable them to quickly deliver critical care services in difficult or steep terrain where helicopters may not be able to land. The test sent a paramedic up a steep incline, reaching the "patient" in just 90 seconds. In contrast, the same rescue — normally requiring an uphill climb on foot through rough and dangerous terrain in order to reach the "patient"— would have taken nearly 30 minutes.

5) Limited resources are impacting the ability of firefighters to gain any containment on the Zogg Fire burning in Shasta County, California. The wildfire, which has now consumed over 50,000 acres, began just two days ago. A lack of resources, along with challenging weather conditions, has hampered firefighting efforts. According to CalFire officials, hand crews and engines are in short supply with the fire season in full swing, although some of the larger lightning complex fires have been fully contained.


6) The Zogg Fire has prompted multiple evacuation orders in Shasta and Tehama counties. It has also shuttered local schools, including the Igo Elementary School and the Shasta Union Elementary School, both of which are closed indefinitely. A temporary evacuation shelter, along with large and small animal evacuation centers, are open. Residents in the area should monitor current evacuation warnings that have been issued by fire officials. Road closures are also in effect due to the fire and firefighter activity, and an investigation is underway into what caused the wildfire.

7) According to weather officials, a La Niña event has developed in the Pacific Ocean and is likely to impact weather in the coming months. Australia weather officials are forecasting cooler temperatures, higher rainfall amounts, and to the country's north, more tropical cyclones. La Niña is the cool phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation event, where stronger underwater currents lead to an upwelling of cooler water, which results in cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.

8) The latest run of the Cameron Peak Fire in Colorado damaged or destroyed at least 41 structures, including homes. Improved weather conditions, including cooler temperatures, freezing conditions, and good humidity recovery, have aided the 852 firefighters working to contain this wildfire. To date, the wildfire has scorched just over 126,000 acres. It is currently ranked as the third-largest fire ever in Colorado and the largest-ever fire in Larimer County history.


Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.