Month: November 2022

First Receivers Utilize Online Training to Maintain Mass Decontamination Preparedness

The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS), through its affiliation with Yale New Haven Health, recently implemented online First Receiver Operations Training (FROT) courses to assist local healthcare facilities maintain Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. MDERS is supporting first receiver awareness, safety, and annual review training at various hospitals in the National Capital Region, including Suburban, Holy Cross Health, University of Maryland Capital Region Health, Medstar Montgomery, Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center, and Adventist Health.

First receiver awareness level training is a 30-to-60-minute introductory course engaging participants in principles and procedures of decontamination, protection from specific chemical agents, respiratory protection, and personal safety issues. This training is required for healthcare personnel who work in the contaminant-free hospital post-decontamination area. Participants include emergency department clinicians, clerks, triage staff, and security staff members responsible for notifying hospital authorities of arrivals. An estimated 1,050 hospital-based first receivers will participate in the online training course to obtain contemporary awareness of mass decontamination operations.

The best practices for the protection of healthcare facility-based first receivers operations level training is an intermediate 8-hour online and instructor-led course providing healthcare personnel who have direct patient contact with lessons on decontamination topics. At the culmination of the course, participants acquired a comprehensive understanding of exposure to hazardous substances, hazard awareness, personal protective equipment (PPE), and special decontamination considerations. The practical session consisted of a demonstration of ambulatory and non-ambulatory decontamination during a mass casualty incident. A total of 1,125 healthcare workers will receive the training course to enhance the care of patients before and after thorough decontamination.

Ensuring the consistent training of hospital-based first receivers is reinforced by an annual 5-hour refresher for all hospital staff and healthcare personnel who completed the awareness and operations level courses. The online and instructor-led review will be provided to 1,125 participants who can be directly or incidentally exposed to a contaminated victim.

With the support of MDERS, hospital stakeholders have online access to the following courses:

  • EM120: Best Practices for the Protection of Healthcare Facility-Based First Receivers, Awareness Level
  • EM220: Best Practices for the Protection of Healthcare Facility-Based First Receivers, Operations Level
  • EM220R: Best Practices for the Protection of Health Care Facility-Based First Receivers, Operations Level Refresher

Facilitating an online learning platform to a large and diverse staff audience in an accessible manner enhances emergency preparedness operations necessary to effectively respond to mass decontamination at various levels. While building on this effort, MDERS aims to expand the continuing education and training of healthcare personnel to uphold the quality of patient care.

Montgomery County Police Department Trains on Sniper Response Operations

The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) upholds a mission to equip, prepare, and bolster the response  capabilities of their Sniper Response Team to provide enhanced public safety and security at national special security events, as well as respond to active-threat incidents in Montgomery County and the National Capital Region. The Sniper Response Team is additionally tasked with reinforcing the response activities of law enforcement officers, including conducting surveillance to share intelligence with responding agencies on the ground. To accomplish this mission, the MCPD Sniper Response Team requires specialized tools, tactics, and capabilities.

For several years, the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) has collaborated with MCPD to ensure their cadre of sniper-trained officers are experts in the field and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. In May 2022, MDERS funded the High Angle Sniper Training for nine members of the MCPD Sniper Response Team in Oregon with Anchor Risk, LLC. MCPD worked with the instructors to ensure the class was tailored to the specific needs of the department.. The multi-day course provided students with hands-on instruction to gain an understanding of non-standard shooting techniques, engagement methods, mission planning, and ballistic characteristics.

At the conclusion of the sniper training, participants provided the following feedback:

  • “This training allowed me to learn how to work on shooting from high angles, which without the trip to the Pacific Northwest, I would have never been able to do.”
  • “I learned observation and intelligence-gathering skills from high-elevation positions to convey to command.”
  • “I gained a better understanding of environmental factors that affect the trajectory of a long-distance shot as well as when shooting at angles. Real-world experience provides us with much ­­­greater confidence if an actual situation occurs.”

The continued partnership between MDERS and MCPD ensures that the Sniper Response Team is capable to expand upon basic sniper techniques and are better prepared to protect the residents and visitors of Montgomery County.