MDERS is Hiring!

Are you looking to join an innovative and dynamic team? The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) is now hiring! We seek highly qualified Emergency Response Specialists to support both internal and external planning, training, and exercise initiatives related to emergency response capabilities and operational procedures for planned and unplanned events within Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

Interested parties are encouraged to apply via the link below!

Active Recruitments – Emergency Response Specialist


Maryland-National Capital Region TECC Stakeholders Receive Surgical Skills Training to Enhance Patient Care

In December 2022, the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) organized a Surgical Skills Lab with Montgomery and Prince George’s County Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) practitioners. The course provided TECC practitioners with an invaluable opportunity for hands-on training and enhancement of their medical wound and airway management techniques. The skills and information obtained during this course will help TECC practitioners render optimal trauma care and casualty management in civilian threat emergencies.

TECC is a set of medical treatment guidelines for trauma care in a high-threat prehospital environment. The medical lessons learned by the United States and allied military forces over the past 15 years of conflict helped develop TECC guidance for trauma care (Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, 2023). The TECC guidelines are appropriately modified to meet the needs of civilian EMS practice for medical response and treatment of the injured.

Initially, participants were given a thorough safety brief to obtain situational awareness if any hazards or risks occur while training. Upon working in four small groups, the Surgical Skills Lab provided participants with an opportunity to operate various medical equipment and execute intricate techniques on specimens donated to science and educational projects. This included the use of specialized instruments such as scalpels, forceps, and suture needles, as well as the proper application of suture materials and wound closure techniques. This is an essential skill for healthcare providers, as timely and proper wound management can prevent infection and promote healing.

During the surgical skills training, participants learned about advanced airway management techniques, including the insertion of breathing tubes through the trachea (tracheotomy), the mouth (endotracheal intubation), and the nose (nasopharyngeal intubation). At each station, participants practiced these life-saving techniques, which are critical in cases of excess air or blood in the chest and when a patient is unable to breathe. To enhance the knowledge of participants, a physician was available to provide essential guidance and instruction to demonstrate best practices and answer any questions.

As this course was well received by all participants, the following comments were made:

  • I personally liked … [gaining] a good understanding of the human anatomy.
  • It was great to learn more on small lacerations. We always focus on the big injuries and ignore others. It was [great] to learn how to use sutures, staples, and glue.
  • I… learned what some of the expectations are of us as EMT supporting our Paramedics assigned to the team during critical incidents.
  • This training boosted my confidence in applying medicine in the field.

The Surgical Skills Lab represents a vital component of medical education and training that equips healthcare providers with the knowledge and lifesaving skills necessary to increase patients’ survival rate. Participants gained immense experience from the course with hands-on training, wounds management, and medical airway procedures and techniques. MDERS aims to regularly work with Montgomery and Prince George’s County TECC practitioners to ensure this capability continues to expand.


Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty. (2023). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from

Montgomery County Police Participate in Law Enforcement Response to Suicidal Subjects Training

Situations involving subjects with mental illness who are suicidal are increasingly common and can be challenging for responding officers. In October 2022, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) adopted General Order: Responding to Behavioral Health Emergencies and Persons with an Altered Mental Status.  Understanding the signs and symptoms of someone afflicted with mental illness, how to identify them, and the legalities of response are critical for law enforcement. MCPD recognizes the need for training to equip officers with effective communication and interpersonal skills, including stabilization and de-escalation techniques for subjects with an altered mental state.

With support from the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS), six MCPD representatives recently participated in a one-day, eight-hour virtual training session that addressed the legalities and challenges law enforcement endure when responding to suicidal subjects (National Tactical Officers Association, 2018). The training delivered by the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), introduces case law and varying viewpoints on policy and response decision-making as it relates to situations involving suicidal subjects.

Students explored the legal realities, examining State and Federal law considerations, common claims, constitutional requirements, special relationships, community caretaker function, and emergency aid doctrine. The course addressed decision-making considerations, and students engaged in discussions regarding safety priorities, decision-making parameters, and jeopardy. The training concluded with a discussion on alternative contemporary response options, looking at existing law enforcement programs throughout the United States with a proven track record.

With the completion of this course, MCPD understands the need for additional training to further reinforce departmental policies and procedures regarding interactions with individuals in an altered mental state. While building on this effort, MDERS aims to expand the continuing education and training of law enforcement personnel on their response to mentally distressed individuals at risk of suicide.


National Tactical Officers Association. (2018, July 1). Law Enforcement Response to Suicidal Subjects. Retrieved from National Tactical Officers Association:

The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System presents Montgomery County sUAS Program at IAEM Conference

Staff from the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) and stakeholders from partnership agencies recently attended the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) conference in Savannah, Georgia. Each year, the IAEM conference attracts relevant speakers to address current public safety topics and practical solutions to national problems. The main goal of the IAEM conference is to improve attendees’ knowledge, competency level, and collaborative skills in the field of emergency management.

At the IAEM conference, MDERS was given the opportunity to provide a poster presentation on the Montgomery County small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) program. Training and Exercise Specialist Hannah Thomas, Battalion Chief Doug Hinkle from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), and Lt. Victor “Tony” Galladora from the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) created a poster illustrating the development of Montgomery County’s small-unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) capability over the past few years.

This poster showcased the practical sUAS experience and knowledge gained from Montgomery County pilots. The poster also addressed a wide array of relevant topics, findings, and real-world incidents for public safety agencies looking to grow their sUAS program. More importantly, attendees gained insights surrounding the operational concepts of the sUAS program that aid in response operations. This includes learning about the several advantages the sUAS program offers, which consists of enhancing situational awareness, information sharing, and search/rescue operations. The poster exhibited the stages of the sUAS program to highlight the required phases that must be satisfied to ensure an effective development and sustainment of the capability.

To highlight the impact and implications of the IAEM conference, presenters provided the following feedback:

MCFRS Battalion Chief Doug Hinkle

  • This was my first experience attending the IAEM Conference. The amount of knowledge and experience of both presenters and attendees was astonishing. As MCFRS supported the Poster Showcase with MDERS and MCPD, it allowed us to demonstrate the cooperative working environment we have had from the beginning to how we are still working together both on incidents and the continual development.

MCPD Lt. Tony Galladora

  • IAEM was a great opportunity to meet with Subject Matter Experts (SME) from around the country. I learned about the success and challenges facing these public safety professionals working in a wide range of environments. Everyone was very willing to share information and best practices.

MDERS Training and Exercise Specialist, Hannah Thomas

  • I gained valuable knowledge and presentation experience from this conference in which will be beneficial to aiding the NCR stakeholder community enhance its response capabilities. I was honored to represent MDERS at the Poster Showcase while discussing sUAS concepts and operations with public safety leaders. The Montgomery County representatives and I were able to help participants work through their jurisdiction’s sUAS problems.

The IAEM conference is an exceptional opportunity to learn about emergency management on a national and international level. IAEM continues to organize a variety of events that provide helpful emergency management resource information and knowledge from subject matter experts in different disciplines. For more information about the events that IAEM offers, please click here.

Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS) Providers Deploy Butterfly Ultra-Sound Monitors To Conduct On-Site Patient Assessments

The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) procured ten Butterfly IQ+ Ultrasound devices for Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS) practitioners in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. These ultrasound devices will aid TEMS practitioners in diagnosing internal injuries and improving visual capabilities to monitor internal care.

TEMS practitioners operate in austere and hostile environments supporting police operations. They render initial care to patients and subsequent medical support from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers is limited based on the duration and threat posed during law enforcement deployments. With reduced medical support, it is essential to outfit TEMS practitioners with the needed equipment to administer advanced medical aid to a patient before transport to definitive medical care.

The Butterfly IQ+ Ultrasound device fills a gap in immediate medical care provided by TEMS practitioners. The ultrasound probe connects to a mobile device and interfaces with their mobile application to allow users to visualize the internal anatomy of a patient. The small and easily maneuverable components allow great latitude for TEMS practitioners to use the ultrasound imaging in a variety of different situations.

The integration of the Butterfly IQ+ Ultrasound device will augment the current medical capabilities of TEMS practitioners. The device will bolster identification of significant internal bleeding, cardiac abnormalities, dyspnea, and other internal injuries. Also, it will facilitate easier intravenous access, accurate hypodermic needle penetration, and artery identification. Beyond the on-scene capabilities, TEMS practitioners can share the ultrasound imaging for medical consultation and provide preliminary notification of a patient’s injuries to hospital personnel.

This emerging technology enhances TEMS practitioners’ ability to obtain an integrated imaging solution for critical medical assessments and guided procedures increasing the survival rate of patients experiencing life-threatening injuries.

For more information on this initiative, please contact William Abuelhawa at


Enhancing Sniper Capabilities in Prince George’s County | Members of Prince George’s County Police Department Emergency Support Team Attend Positional Shooting Clinic

Prince George’s County Police Department has built a comprehensive training program for its Emergency Support Team (EST). With support from the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS), three officers from PGPD EST participated in the Modern Day Sniper Positional Shooting Clinic in southwest Virginia. The course provides law enforcement with field-based training in non-traditional shooting positions often encountered in real-world situations.

The two-day training combines marksmanship fundamentals with best practices and methods for positional shooting using the operator’s issued tripod. Students explored considerations for building a supported position while learning techniques for body awareness and natural points of aim. The course emphasized wobble zone management, recoil management, and the use of a post-shot checklist. Instruction was provided by industry-leading precision riflemen who have extensive military experience in long-range shooting and sniping.

The training incorporated multiple scenarios conducted in several disparate locations to test students’ ability to operate in high-stress environments using their newly acquired skills. The officers who completed the course indicated that the training expanded their ability to utilize improvised shooting positions, develop a stable stance, and acquire targets down range faster.

Over the last several years, PGPD has expanded its sniper capability to ensure that a cadre of instructor-level officers is available on each shift to train EST members desiring to bolster their sniping skills. With the completion of the Positional Shooting Clinic, PGPD understands the need to build/enhance competency in key areas of positional shooting for long-range and precision sniping operations.

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Improving Decision Making for Public Safety Leaders in the National Capital Region.

Public safety leaders from across the National Capital Region (NCR)  recently participated in a four-part leadership seminar series on approaches to improving decision-making. The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) partnered with the National Preparedness Leadership Institute (NPLI) to host this professional development opportunity on behalf of the NCR. MDERS collaborated closely with NPLI to tailor this program to the unique characteristics and nuances of the Maryland-National Capital Region’s emergency response enterprise. The series was facilitated by Eric McNulty, Harvard

University’s National Preparedness Leadership Institute Associate Director and Co-Author of the book “You’re It,” and featured guest facilitators:

  • Anne Kronenberg, Affiliated Faculty, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Peter Neffenger, Distinguished Senior Fellow, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Richard Serino, Distinguished Senior Fellow, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Darrell Darnell, Affiliated Faculty, National PreparednessLeadership Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

This interactive program introduced participants to the building blocks of sound decision-making and the tangible ways in which decision quality can be improved over time. The program explored various decision-making methods available to leaders and how to become more intentional about the use of each. Participants gained a

better understanding of how to instill and maintain decision discipline even in the challenging environment of a major incident. The series concluded with a “master class,” where participants applied the concepts and tools they learned using a scenario-based exercise highlighting a complex organizational leadership challenge currently faced within the NCR.

At the conclusion of the program, attendees highlighted the need for continued leadership development opportunities for emergency response leaders in the NCR. MDERS plans to contribute to the leadership

development of NCR stakeholders through

future training offerings.

For more information on leadership training opportunities, please contact

Eric McNulty, Associate Director Harvard University National Preparedness Leadership Initiative
Anne Kronenberg, Affiliated Faculty National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Peter Neffenger, Distinguished Senior Fellow, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Richard Serino, Distinguished Senior Fellow, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health   
Darrell Darnell, Affiliated Faculty Member Harvard University National Preparedness Leadership Initiative

Expanding Law Enforcement Sniper Capabilities of the Prince George’s County Police Department

Over the past seven years, the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) has built a comprehensive training program for snipers, breachers, and critical incident commanders. With support from the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS), eight officers from PGPD recently participated in a local offering of the Tacflow Academy Sniper Team Leader Course. This training assists Special Operations Division (SOD) personnel in developing and implementing a specialized sniper training program. Hosted by Prince George’s County Police, the training included participation from neighboring law enforcement agencies from around the region.

A combination of classroom and field-based training, this three-day course was designed to break through the institutional complacency that police sniper teams and sniper team leaders often encounter within their organization, providing officers with the knowledge and tools required for a successful sniper program. Students discussed the mission of the police sniper, the selection process for identifying candidates within their organization, and the process for developing qualification courses to meet state reporting requirements. An examination of relevant case law and its implication in the field was also addressed. Course participants learned about sniper mission planning and discussed weapon, scope, and ammo specifications. The course concluded with a live-fire ballistic gel test to compare ammunition currently in use by departments in the field.

PGPD has made great strides in recent years by expanding its sniper capabilities to include urban areas, high-angle, and aerial sniping. While the sniper capability is highly focused on marksmanship, it requires mastery in observation, intelligence gathering, and operational planning. The local delivery of the TacFlow Sniper Team Leader course additionally allowed PGPD to train officers as a group and highlighted the need for more team-based training.

With the completion of the TacFlow Sniper Team Leader Course, PGPD has a better understanding of the need for proficiency in key areas. The department is working towards modifying its training curriculum to emphasize the development of certain skillsets by providing opportunities for officers to build and refine their sniper marksmanship skills, and gain the operational experience needed to perform in high-stress austere environments.

MDERS Provides Public Access Trauma Care (PATC) Training to Montgomery County School Health Services

With the new school year starting, and a return to in-person instruction, the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) team delivered a presentation about the Public Access Trauma Care (PATC) program to the nurses of Montgomery County Public Schools Health Services.

The PATC program aims to empower civilians to treat severe injuries in the critical time period between injury and the arrival of medical professionals. During this period, proactive aid can help mitigate fatal injuries to a victim, such as extremity bleeding, compromised airways, sucking chest wounds, and hypothermia.

PATC Kit display in a Montgomery County Public School

The presentation outlined the resources available to nurses in every public school to respond to such injuries. In total, MDERS has placed 754 PATC bags inside Montgomery County Public Schools, with at least one bag located in each school building. Included in each bag are five individual kits, each containing a tourniquet, chest seal, survival blanket, compressed gauze, trauma shears, gloves, medical tape, and other supplies to address these injuries.

To understand how to utilize these items and identify the injury patterns that would necessitate their use, the nurses were shown several training videos that covered wound packing, tourniquet application, direct pressure, chest seal application, and body positioning. The videos are accessible for the nurses and the public to review on YouTube.

As the PATC program continues to evolve, opportunities for hands-on practice of these skills will be accessible to nurses and students. If you have any questions about the PATC program, please contact us at

Welcome to Sam Ascunce, Planning and Organization Program Manager of the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System

The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) is pleased to welcome Sam Ascunce as our new Planning and Organization Program Manager. Sam joins the team with over seven years of experience in the field of Emergency Management, most recently serving at Hagerty Consulting, where he worked as a project manager on a variety of planning, training, and exercise initiatives for local, state, federal, and private sector organizations. During his time at Hagerty, Sam led the development of active threat response capabilities across the United States, building emergency preparedness capabilities within large, private sector organizations, and helping organizations respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to his consulting role, Sam served as a Public Safety and Health Preparedness Planner with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) where he supported numerous stakeholder committees focused on addressing the National Capital Region’s unique response challenges and priorities. Before joining COG, Sam led the creation of professional development curriculum and training for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Qualification System (FQS).

Sam holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Emergency Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri.

As the Planning and Organization Program Manager for MDERS, Sam will be charged with laying the groundwork for all initiatives undertaken by the organization. He will lead a team of planners who will be responsible for crafting Capability Development Plans, which establish the path for achieving the target outcomes and metrics that constitute a new or enhanced emergency response capability in our region. Sam will also organize and lead the various workgroups that, through coalition building and collective subject matter expertise, achieve the complex interdisciplinary and interjurisdictional capabilities that MDERS is charged to develop. Sam will work closely with his fellow program managers, the MDERS staff, and stakeholders to execute the plans, continuing to build the sophisticated response capabilities and capacities that our regional response agencies maintain to best protect and serve the residents and visitors of the Maryland-National Capital Region.