On May 4th and 5th, 2022, the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) hosted its annual symposium. This year’s event, themed Reimagining the Threat Landscape, brought together stakeholders from across the National Capital Region and beyond to discuss timely events and topics germane to the homeland security and public safety enterprise. To accommodate ongoing public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, MDERS broadcast this year’s symposium live via Zoom to provide flexibility and convenience for participants to virtually watch specific portions or all of the event.
Broadcast from Howard University’s WHUT studios in Washington, D.C., the first day of the symposium analyzed the events leading up to, during, and following the January 6th insurrection at the United States Capitol. Leaders from the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS), and MedStar Washington Hospital Center, provided their unique experience tackling the complex issues faced by their agencies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, and the January 6th insurrection.
Throughout the day, Darrell Darnell, a nationally recognized subject matter expert in homeland security and emergency management, moderated panel discussions with the speakers to further address specific challenges or areas or priority. The panels allowed the speakers to further explore their perspectives on how special events planning has and will continue to evolve in the wake of the insurrection, including leveraging the intelligence community, effective workforce allocation, and innovative ways to enhance community preparedness.
The second day of the symposium featured a variety of presentations facilitated by subject matter experts from governmental and academic institutions on the following emerging homeland security topics:
- Supply Chain Resilience
- The Power of Public/Private Partnerships
- Small Unmanned Aerial Systems in Public Safety and Healthcare Operations
- Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) Information Session
- Best Practices for First Responder Psychological Safety and Health
Symposium attendees engaged in real time with the speakers through the Zoom Video Communications platform to ask questions or weigh in on the topics discussed.
The event was well received by attendees and highlighted the need for further training on many of the topics that were discussed. MDERS will continue to provide opportunities for the MDERS stakeholder community addressing the many response complexities facing organizations and the broader homeland security enterprise.
MDERS will host next year’s symposium in the Spring of 2023. Please check the MDERS website for further information.