Month: April 2023

Paratech Guardian System for Structural Collapse Incidents

The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) partnered with Montgomery Country Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) and Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department (PGFD) to procure a Paratech Guardian system for each department. The Paratech Guardian system monitors and alerts fire personnel to a change in dynamics during a structural collapse incident. Adding this device to the structural collapse capabilities in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties will improve on-scene intelligence and safety for department members and civilians.

A structural collapse event is a precarious incident to respond to for fire departments. The on-scene emergency responders have to investigate and understand the configuration of a comprised building before crafting a rescue and stabilization plan. However, the dynamics of the building can quickly shift to compromise and impede rescue efforts. The equipment currently deployed by MCFRS and PGFD cannot detect sudden structural changes. Without that capability, any significant shift can threaten the safety of trapped individuals or fire personnel operating within the collapsed structure.

MCFRS and PGFD have tested and incorporated the Paratech Guardian system into their structural collapse equipment inventory to enhance monitoring capabilities and provide immediate notification of changes to a comprised building. This device integrates into scaffolding constructed within a building collapse to alert for changes in weight load, detect vibrations, and changes to angle inclines. In consultation with engineers, the user configures the Paratech Guardian to monitor for alterations outside of a preset range. If the system detects a shift outside of the determined range, an alarm is triggered, and an alert is sent to a mobile device monitored by fire personnel. The instantaneous notification will allow fire personnel to exit a structure before a potential secondary collapse. After firefighters exit the structure, emergency responders can reevaluate the scene and adjust the Paratech Guardian system accordingly.

Incorporating the Paratech Guardian will bolster the monitoring capabilities of MCFRS and PGFD to improve the safety of all individuals during a structural collapse response.

The Paratech Guardian was procured through MDERS’s Innovation Fund. This program supports innovative solutions to meet MDERS’s strategic goals and confront emerging threats. The procurement of the Paratech Guardian underwent testing and approval by MCFRS and PGFD personnel. This project is scalable and future funding may be available to further grow the capability within each department.

Enhancing Law Enforcement Interoperability Through Public Safety Training and Initiatives

The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) aims to improve interoperability between the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) and the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) by enhancing coordination on response capabilities. MDERS provides similar tools, training, and exercises that more directly align the two departments’ policies, plans, and procedures. This closer association encourages and develops various interjurisdictional law enforcement response efforts.


MCPD and PGPD operate in neighboring jurisdictions which leads to frequent overlap on emergency calls. Additionally, large-scale, or specialized emergencies often require interjurisdictional cooperation. The high frequency of these joint deployments necessitates a greater need for collaboration on procuring similar equipment, participating in identical trainings, and joint participating in MDERS-sponsored exercises.


Every fiscal year, MCPD and PGPD propose equipment purchases to enhance or develop capabilities. Both departments create their proposals cognizant of what the other department has or will seek. MDERS works with the department to closely align the requests with similar equipment such as night vision goggles, infrared cameras, personal protective equipment, and operational vehicles. This parallel procurement effort promotes a greater familiarity of each department’s resources to allow for greater interjurisdictional integration.

To further promote regional law enforcement cohesion, MDERS has sent MCPD and PGPD officers to various training initiatives. The courses include topics such as technical breaching, tactical emergency medical services (TEMS), public order, active shooter mitigation, first receiver operations training (FROT), command-level leadership, and other law enforcement learning opportunities. The joint participation and breadth of these training opportunities will help the departments prepare for a variety of emergencies and strengthen interoperability capabilities in the Maryland-National Capital Region.


The culmination of the similar procurement and training is the discussion and practical deployment of joint MCPD and PGPD responses. MDERS has created workshops, tabletop sessions, and full-scale exercises to allow personnel to strategize and rehearse interoperable deployments. These discussions help identify areas for improvement to bolster their interjurisdictional response.

The similar equipment, training, and exercises enhances interoperability between MCPD and PGPD. MDERS will continue to provide financial and logistical support to continue to ensure MCPD and PGPD are adequately equipped and trained to confront evolving threats to public safety.

For more information regarding MDERS sponsored procurement efforts and training initiatives, please reach out to the Operational Support Team at