Month: April 2024

The Maryland Region V Healthcare Coalition Examines Hospital Response to a Chemical Emergency Surge

On March 7, 2024, the Maryland Region V Healthcare Coalition participated in a Chemical Emergency Surge Tabletop Exercise (TTX) hosted by the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) that examined the preparedness efforts taken and response actions initiated to a mass casualty incident related to widespread sarin exposure. The exercise was designed to review existing emergency care assets, evaluate roles, and identify operational gaps during a large-scale chemical incident. The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) observed the exercise to gain better insights into healthcare response.

The Chemical Emergency Surge TTX covered three modules that engaged essential response components within the scenario, including initial recognition, community collaboration, and ongoing healthcare coordination. Each module contained information portraying a sarin attack at a large community gathering and the aftermath of chemical exposure casualties. The scenario emphasized the need to assess patients, decontaminate, treat injuries, and coordinate with public health and emergency managers. Throughout the exercise, participants from fire/EMS, public health, emergency management, acute-care facilities, and the Maryland Healthcare Coalition provided suggestions on specific response procedures utilized to reduce chemical exposure.

In the first module, units responded to a potential chemical agent release in a densely populated area with office buildings, retail space, and schools. Within minutes, multiple patients experiencing various symptoms arrived at nearby hospitals. During the response phase, participants discussed a variety of initial actions that involved the activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), preparing Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) operations, contacting poison control personnel, and deploying decontamination equipment to establish the immediate removal of contaminants. Considering the large acute exposure, participants reviewed real-time information sharing capabilities between hospitals and response partners particularly due to requesting specialized EMS transportation resources and disseminating critical incident information. In preparation for treating an influx of patients, these response activities set the foundation for ongoing healthcare coordination.

In the next phase, participants were informed of the evolving nature of the emergency with hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and other healthcare facilities becoming inundated with victims suffering from a range of adverse effects due to the sarin exposure. Participants referred and adhered to hospital protocols related to chemical emergency response to determine alternate areas for triage, on-site decontamination, and community evacuation. With the potential for misinformation and public concern, participants activated the EOC Joint Information Center (JIC) to coordinate public information with Healthcare Coalition members to provide consistent communication to mitigate mass panic.

While the actions of participating response agencies diminished the harm from chemical attack in the primary and immediate vicinity, participants explored other alternative methods to maintain and uphold regional healthcare coordination. Participants assessed mutual aid agreements to transport patients for ongoing care to facilities with appropriate resources, collect/dispose of contaminated materials, request staffing support, and execute situational awareness communication strategies among healthcare partners.

As the exercise concluded, participants enhanced their knowledge about the emergency notification processes and existing mutual aid agreements that were crucial in responding to and coordinating medical care. The discussion-based exercise examined the response capabilities across hospitals and healthcare facilities, revealing the necessity for more robust collaboration, resource allocation, and communication practices. MDERS supports active participation in exercises, viewing them as an indispensable training tool that fosters personnel development and optimizes operational efficiency.

Prince George’s County Police Department Enhances Professional Development by Offering the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy Training Series

For the last several years, the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) collaborated with the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) to enhance PGPD’s leadership training opportunities. Both organizations identified the various courses offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA) as a useful opportunity to further educate PGPD supervisors, commanders, and executives.

The mission of FBI-LEEDA is to advance the science and art of law enforcement leadership by promoting the exchange of information to improve law enforcement management practices (FBI-LEEDA, n.d.). PGPD officers participated in a trilogy of courses, which were the Supervisor Leadership Institute, Command Leadership Institute, and Executive Level Institute. Students engaged with senior law enforcement leadership that facilitated instruction during the challenging four-and-a-half-day courses.

All three courses build upon the lessons learned from each respective class to form better law enforcement officers. The leadership concepts covered during classroom discussions include:

  • Police Leadership: This activity introduced students to the characteristics of leadership through supervisory, personal, and professional traits. Students were then led through a self-evaluation of their own leadership qualities and expectations.
  • Supervisory Credibility & Authenticity: Students were challenged to define credibility and how it relates to leadership. Students developed an understanding of the myriad of influences on credibility and leadership from different target groups. A focus was placed on actions, mannerisms, and behaviors essential to establish and maintain credibility.
  • Leading Generations: Supervisors have the potential to lead at least four generations of employees. The characteristics associated with Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z were reviewed to familiarize students with the nuances of leading each generation.
  • Police Leadership in the 21st Century: Introduced students to police strategic leadership concepts appropriate for the 21st Students addressed current U.S. policing strategies and future trends.
  • Bias and Diversity: Students explored the executive’s role in creating a sensitive workplace. Students and instructors discussed how negative bias-based issues can diminish the perception of police service delivery.
  • Future Trends: Students learned about the future of policing by examining demographic shifts, advances in technology, and social shifts emerging in the U.S. requiring law enforcement departments to adapt.

Once students have successfully completed one segment of the series, they can proceed to one of the other courses associated with the trilogy. After completing all three courses, students are recognized as Trilogy Award recipients.

The FBI-LEEDA training series was selected as a unique leadership course opportunity to bolster professional development within PGPD. FBI-LEEDA has furnished PGPD officers with an enriching training series that encompasses all tiers of management, from first-line supervisors to executive-level management. PGPD continues to pursue advantageous opportunities to enhance command officer competency, law enforcement leadership, and professional development. Including FBI-LEEDA supports PGPD’s goal of establishing a well-rounded and sophisticated professional development framework that empowers law enforcement supervisors.

The training course garners positive feedback from PGPD officers, who exhibit receptiveness towards the imparted knowledge. Participants recognize the tangible benefits of acquiring leadership concepts and strategies, which offer practical solutions. Major Charles Magee of PGPD underscores the strategic importance of FBI-LEEDA leadership methods in enhancing the effectiveness of management-level officers.

Prince George’s County Police Department, Major Charles Magee

“From a training perspective, we have recognized the value of the FBI-LEEDA program in developing competent leadership, at every level. The overwhelmingly positive feedback received is a catalyst for our agency’s decision to host the FBI Trilogy series in Prince George’s County this year.”

MDERS remains dedicated to collaborating with our stakeholders to identify and address any training gaps that require support. As a testament to these ongoing efforts, as of Spring 2024, MDERS has supported 81 officers from PGPD in attending the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy Series. This initiative solidifies MDERS’ unwavering commitment to fostering continuous improvement and excellence in law enforcement practices.




Who we are – FBI-LEEDA. FBI-LEEDA. (n.d.). Retrieved from