Month: August 2023

Public Access Trauma Care (PATC) Instruction Cards and Posters

The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) has taken a proactive approach to enhancing public safety through the development of informative instruction cards and posters under the Public Access Trauma Care (PATC) program. With a commitment to equipping the community, MDERS has successfully distributed 10,000 instruction cards and 1,000 posters to dedicated partners across Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. These invaluable resources deliver clear, step-by-step guidance on fundamental life-saving medical techniques, empowering individuals to administer crucial aid to victims grappling with life-threatening bleeding, penetrating trauma, hypothermia, and other severe injuries. By bridging the gap between emergencies and professional medical assistance, creating and disseminating these instructional materials significantly amplify individual preparedness to offer timely, life-saving medical interventions.

As part of the PATC program, medical supplies have been strategically placed in public schools and government buildings throughout the Maryland-National Capital Region (MD-NCR). For those supplies to be effectively utilized, individuals must be able to identify injury patterns and render appropriate aid. MDERS has developed training videos a mobile application and worked closely with regional partners to expand training opportunities related to PATC. However, MDERS staff identified a need for accessible materials that individuals can easily reference.

MDERS determined that instruction cards and posters will allow individuals to review PATC skills in a quick and efficient manner. Working closely with an outside vendor, the MDERS team developed and finalized these materials to distill the needed information into simple instructions supported with detailed illustrations. The foldable instruction cards contain instructions and illustrations on how to apply a chest seal, apply direct pressure, apply a tourniquet, pack a wound, and prevent shock. The posters provide the same information but also include a section on what individuals should do in an emergency situation. Introducing these materials to the public will add an outlet for individuals to learn about and practice PATC skills.

Within the last month, the following entities have received instruction cards and posters:

  • Montgomery College (200 instruction cards and 20 posters)
  • Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (500 instruction cards and 50 posters)
  • Montgomery County Public Schools (4,000 instruction cards and 400 posters)
  • Prince George’s County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (500 instruction cards and 50 posters)
  • Prince George’s County Public Schools (4,000 instruction cards and 400 posters)
  • The Universities at Shady Grove (100 instruction cards and 10 posters)
  • The University of Maryland Global Campus (50 instruction cards and 10 posters)

***MDERS has the remaining materials for training and potential delivery to other stakeholders.
Distribution and placement of these educational materials will increase awareness of the PATC program and provide readers with invaluable information to review and implement during an emergency. For more information about the PATC program, please visit or email

Impacts of AI on Public Safety and the Homeland Security Enterprise | What is Artificial Intelligence?

Over the past few months, artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the biggest topics of discussions in multiple fields. From homeland security to education, to even Hollywood and the music industry, AI is changing the world for better and worse. But what is artificial intelligence, and how can we utilize it in emergency management and public safety? This article is the first in a three-part series on artificial intelligence from the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) that will dive into the basics of AI to include a definition of AI, the two main types of AI, and a brief overview of ChatGPT.

The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) defines artificial intelligence in its simplest form as “a field which combines computer science and robust datasets to enable problem-solving” that also “encompasses [the] sub-fields of machine learning and deep learning, which are frequently mentioned in conjunction with artificial intelligence” (IBM, 2023). Artificial intelligence is taking data and placing it into a system to solve complex problems, analyze and interpret the inputs, and generate models. IBM’s famous Watson[1] is an example of artificial intelligence.

There are two different types of artificial intelligence, weak AI and strong AI. Weak AI, also called “Narrow AI,” is any artificial intelligence that has been trained or developed to perform specific tasks or analyses. Narrow AI has been prominent in our everyday lives for a long time in applications not recognized as artificial intelligence, such as Siri and Alexa. These applications are also why “Narrow AI” is sometimes the preferred term, as the scope of what these systems can do is not considered “weak.” Narrow AI can produce various types of content beyond analyzing data, such as photos, videos, and audio (IBM, 2023).

Strong AI consists of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), both of which remain theoretical. AGI would occur if a machine had the intelligence of a human and was self-aware, and ASI would occur when a machine becomes smarter than a human (IBM, 2023).

A recently popular publicly accessible AI is ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a form of narrow AI that utilizes deep learning models to “learn” from inputs (someone teaching it something or giving it data) and generate probable outputs. It was designed to engage in conversational interactions and leverage a vast amount of textual data to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses. ChatGPT is also easily accessible to users, requiring only an email address and phone number to create a free account.

The advances in artificial intelligence have created new opportunities for innovation, adaptation, and optimization but have also brought risks and threats to various fields. The next article in this series will cover some of the threats and challenges faced by the homeland security and public safety industry regarding artificial intelligence.

Bonus: Can you determine which paragraph of this article was written with the help of ChatGPT? The answer will be in the next article on artificial intelligence.


IBM. (2023). What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? IBM.