Archive for the ‘emergency mangement’ Category

“Even the governor of New York did not do it,” said ALCU’s Rebecca Gasca, who wrote Gibbons earlier this week and requested he not issue the regulations.

Governor plans to implement Real ID Act

CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons plans to issue an emergency regulation enacting the federal Real ID Act, even as the federal government contemplates delaying the controversial measure.

Starting in January, newcomers to Nevada seeking a driver’s license and those obtaining their first driver’s license would be compelled to show a birth certificate, a Social Security card and documents verifying their residency.

Eventually, all Nevadans would be required to show such ID to renew their licenses, a move that Gibbons and other supporters of the measure say would prevent terrorists and people in the country illegally from obtaining identification cards.

Even if Gibbons issues the order, it could all be for naught. State legislators who have strongly opposed Real ID, citing its $1.5 million price tag, are threatening to kill it after the end of a 120-day emergency regulation period.

“It has direct impact to the state of Nevada if we don’t move forward on Real ID,” the governor said.

Under the federal law, residents in states that do not adopt Real ID could be prevented from boarding interstate airline flights unless they agree to more extensive screening to determine if they have weapons. They also could be prevented from entering federal courthouses.

Critics have branded the Real ID Act an attempt to impose a national identification card on Americans. They say that would increase the threat of identity theft, enable the routine tracking of U.S. citizens and move the nation toward a surveillance society.

Rebecca Gasca, public advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union, questioned why Gibbons wants to follow Real ID when most governors look at it as an invasion of their citizens’ privacy.

“Even the governor of New York did not do it,” said Gasca, who wrote Gibbons earlier this week and requested he not issue the regulations.

“The governor of Nevada is the only governor in the United States pushing for this. Why? It is a waste of Nevada resources.”

Forty-six states have filed protests over the Real ID Act.

Daniel Burns, Gibbons’ communications director, said today that, “As of this moment, we are going forward. The law is the law.”

But he said Gibbons and the state Department of Motor Vehicles will factor in what U.S. Homeland Security Janet Napolitano does. She is expected to announce an indefinite postponement of the Dec. 31 deadline for states to comply.

The governor’s emergency regulations remain in effect for 120 days. The Legislature then could decide to make the regulation permanent, or void it entirely.

Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the Legislative Committee to Review Regulations, said he has no doubt that legislators would reject any Real ID regulations if Napolitano postpones the deadline.

By the time such a decision is made, however, the state’s Real ID program will probably already be up and running.

“If they back away from it, what is the need for regulations?” Conklin asked. “It would be a wise decision for the federal government to back off. This is not in the best interest of Nevadans.”

Conklin said the primary reason his committee did not approve a proposed Real ID regulation last month is because members anticipated Napolitano would postpone Real ID because of state opposition.

The Nevada Legislature in 2007 overwhelmingly passed a resolution — with only Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, voting no — that called on Congress to repeal the Real ID Act.

Governors do not sign legislative resolutions, but as a member of the U.S. House in 2005, Gibbons voted for the act.

The emergency regulation that Gibbons will sign requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to follow 18 Real ID benchmarks.

The benchmarks include retaining driver’s license applicants’ facial images, verifying their Social Security card numbers and addresses, checking whether they are legal residents, and doing background checks on DMV workers who have access to drivers’ information.

Tom Jacobs, a Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman, said his agency will retain all drivers’ information in its own database, not as part of a national database, although it will share information with other states about problem drivers.

Advertisements


BTC – We spoke with Boston Globe city reporter Stephen Smith yesterday to update information about current innoculation programs. The story to follow was published 11/28/08 – last year. The information, after checking with the Boston Public Health Commission’s, Ann Scales, is still current and factually sound. We are now in the process of requesting a photo from EMS of current inocculation bracelets given to those accepting voluntary swine flu shots. According to Scales, they do not have an RFID tag in them.

4:00 PM CST 9/17 UPDATE From Boston Emergency Management Services or EMS
We spoke this afternoon to Jennifer Mehigan of Boston EMS to find out more about H1N1 and the existence of permanent innoculation bracelets given to those who come for vaccines. The picture is the actual immunization record given to those who voluntarily receive the flu shot. As you can plainly see, it is not a metal “shackle” containing an RFID tag and is not required or even implied by local law to be a permanent fixture for the patient.
She mentioned that a bracelet containing an RFID tag had been up for consideration for low fatality outbreaks. The local government decided on a barcode system of data management to track a patient after they have been vaccinated. The current system is being used during flu seasons to test it’s effectiveness to track lethal pandemic outbreaks declared as federal emergencies. According to Mehigan, the H1N1 virus or swine flu does not currently possess the threat level necessary to require FEMA’s assistance in identifying vaccine recipients. FEMA has more direct understanding of federal bracelet systems and disaster readiness programs in those cases.
Simply put, when we say “patient tracking,” what we really mean is vaccination tracking. When a resident gets a flu vaccine through BPHC, they will receive a barcode number on a sticker either attached to a bracelet or a vaccination card. The barcode tracks where the vaccine has gone and tracks the patient through the number and not their name,” says Mehigan of Boston EMS Communications.

The State of Massachusetts attracted national news attention recently over legislation which has passed at least one chamber to require citizens to take the H1N1 vaccine or be fined up to $1000 a day until providing proof of inocculation. The State legislation has since drawn intense criticism since that time.

Boston.com c/o Stephen Smith

When people arrive for their shots, they will get an ID bracelet with a barcode. Next, basic information – name, age, gender, address – will be entered into the patient tracking database. There will be electronic records, too, of who gave the vaccine and whether it was injected into the right arm or the left, and time-stamped for that day.

(BOSTON)–Using technology originally developed for mass disasters, Boston disease trackers are embarking on a novel experiment – one of the first in the country – aimed at eventually creating a citywide registry of everyone who has had a flu vaccination.

The resulting vaccination map would allow swift intervention in neighborhoods left vulnerable to the fast-moving respiratory illness.

The trial starts this afternoon, when several hundred people are expected to queue up for immunizations at the headquarters of the Boston Public Health Commission. Each of them will get a bracelet printed with a unique identifier code. Information about the vaccine’s recipients, and the shot, will be entered into handheld devices similar to those used by delivery truck drivers.

Boston is believed to be the first city to embrace this particular approach to tracking vaccinations against the seasonal flu, estimated to kill 36,000 people each year in the United States, principally the elderly.

When people arrive for their shots, they will get an ID bracelet with a barcode. Next, basic information – name, age, gender, address – will be entered into the patient tracking database. There will be electronic records, too, of who gave the vaccine and whether it was injected into the right arm or the left, and time-stamped for that day.

The resulting trove of data could be used to figure out why some patients had to wait longer than others to be vaccinated. “When all is said and done,” said Jun Davantes, director of product management at EMSystems, the company that makes the technology, “Boston will be able to identify where there are certain bottlenecks in the process and hopefully improve it the next time around.”

Ultimately, city health authorities said, they envision creating a network across the city that would allow public and private providers of flu shots to add data to a registry.

But acknowledging patients’ privacy concerns, officials promised that if a citywide system were implemented, only a limited amount of information would be gathered – all sitting behind an encrypted firewall.

“I have had people say, ‘Oh, that’s so big brother,’ ” said Laura Williams, EMS deputy chief of staff. “But in truth, the unique identifier is unique to the incident. It’s not like you will go to the hospital, and they’ll say, ‘You’re the one who got the flu vaccine at 10 o’clock yesterday at the Boston Public Health Commission.’ “

Stephen Smith can be reached at stsmith@globe.com