Category: News

The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System Hosts HSEEP Course

In partnership with the Prince George’s County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (PGOHSEM), the Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) recently held a Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) course at the PGOHSEM headquarters in Hyattsville, Maryland. HSEEP is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that consists of fundamental concepts and a common approach to exercises (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2020). The goal of HSEEP is to assist exercise planning team members with incorporating standardized methodologies used to create, conduct, and analyze exercises.

The HSEEP course is an interactive two-day training with eight hours of instructor-led classroom lectures and group discussions. This training was attended by 22 students from various disciplines, backgrounds, and departments to learn about the planning, design, and evaluation of exercises. Participants were from the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD), the Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Department (PGFD), the City of Bowie Emergency Management, Fredrick County Health Department (FCHD), University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), Charles County Department of Emergency Services (DES), the United States Army, Department of Defense (DOD), United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), MDERS, and PGOHSEM.

Before instruction began, students took a pre-test to assess the students’ knowledge and understanding of the exercise design and development. During classroom discussions, students learned about HSEEP fundamentals, including exercise program management, design, development, evaluation, and improvement planning. These principles helped students understand the purpose and intended outcomes of conducting exercises. Through the HSEEP training course, students were divided into small groups to participate and discuss response efforts to small-scale tabletop scenarios. This structure helped students identify emergency preparedness priorities and recommend the necessary aid to mitigate the effects of incident scenarios. Students emphasized the benefits of building relationships to promptly request resources and mutual aid.

The HSEEP training course concluded with a large-scale capstone project to enhance students’ understanding of exercise preparation. Students received information on an emergency incident scenario consisting of mass casualties and community disruption. This activity encouraged students to implement concepts learned to further develop and refine their skills in exercise planning. The exercise allowed students to demonstrate their understanding of the material taught and practice teamwork, communication, and strategic thinking in a realistic environment. After completion of the capstone, students evaluated their identified roles, procedures, and mutual aid activities to determine if the appropriate response measures were taken. The evaluation phase was important to assess areas for improvement to identify shortfalls and gaps in the exercise scenario.

After completing the course, students gained a better understanding of how to use HSEEP exercise principles and methods to prevent, respond, and recover from different hazards. MDERS is committed to ensuring that our stakeholders continue to gain the knowledge needed to conduct response operations through attending specialized training courses among many public safety disciplines.

For more information on HSEEP, please click here.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2020, January). Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). Retrieved from Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) (


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


Progress of the Public Access Trauma Care Program

The Public Access Trauma Care (PATC) program has expanded equipment distribution and training opportunities in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. These initiatives will increase the accessibility of medical equipment to allow individuals to render life-saving medical aid to injured patients.

Injuries that result in traumatic bleeding events can occur in various settings throughout communities. Automobile collisions, workplace accidents, construction mishaps, sports injuries, penetrating trauma, and other medical events can all lead to significant blood loss. A victim suffering from a major bleeding incident may potentially bleed out before the arrival of medical professionals. The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) developed the PATC program to provide civilians with the requisite knowledge, skills, abilities, and equipment to treat life-threatening injuries.

A PATC individual kit contains the medical supplies to treat major bleeding injuries, pneumothorax, and hypothermia. The kit contains a Combat-Application-Tourniquet (C-A-T), emergency trauma dressing, compressed gauze, medical gloves, trauma shears, chest seals, a mylar blanket, a permanent marker, a mini duct tape roll, and  an instruction card. Five kits and a patient movement device are placed in a durable bag located in an accessible cabinet.

MDERS has coordinated with regional partners on the installation and placement of these medical supplies throughout the Maryland-National Capital Region (MD-NCR). In the last year, PATC 5-pack kits have been placed in Montgomery College, Prince George’s County Public high schools, Prince George’s County government buildings, and University of Maryland Global Campus facilities. Planned installations will occur later this year in Montgomery County government buildings and at the Universities at Shady Grove. The totality of these distributions exceeds 1,000 PATC 5-pack kits provided to our regional partners to create an immediate medical response capability to treat time-sensitive injuries.

In conjunction with the allocation of PATC 5-pack kits, MDERS has developed and procured training materials to educate the public to identify and treat medical emergencies. Five training videos were created to show viewers how to apply a chest seal, apply direct pressure, apply a tourniquet, maneuver a victim into the recover position, and pack a wound. A training presentation was created and provided to regional partners to allow for instruction on the basic medical steps needed to render proper aid to injured individuals. To support these trainings and promote hands-on practice with the PATC medical supplies, MDERS has established a training cache that can be utilized by our partners. MDERS has also acquired a training cache for Montgomery County Public Schools and will soon supply a training cache Prince George’s County Public Schools to teach students about the basic medical skills associated with the PATC program.

MDERS will continue investments in equipment and training for the PATC program will help promote prompt medical intervention by civilians to render life-saving medical aid. If you have any questions about the PATC program, please reach out via email to

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

Adapting to Emerging Trends and Leadership Training

As COVID-19 cases began to rise in early 2020, the world shut down in hopes of slowing the spread of this unknown and deadly infection. Non-essential workers worldwide transitioned to working from home, an option not available for essential workers within the Homeland Security Enterprise. Doctors and nurses continued to work at inundated hospitals, police and firefighters never stopped responding to emergency calls, and other essential workers continued to do their job while entering an even more dangerous and unknown situation. Additionally, leadership training has become an important aspect to personnel recruitment and retention, following the massive resignations and layoffs following the COVID-19 shutdown.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many public safety officials expressed feeling of being burnt out or overworked. Due to these ongoing issues, many organizations within the Homeland Security Enterprise began reevaluating staff training and retention strategies. Leadership trainings have recently been utilized to ensure that an organization’s human capital is supported in any way possible. Organizations such as the United States Capitol Police and the United States Environmental Protection Agency have created a Human Capital Strategic Plan to ensure all workforce members are utilized effectively and supervisors are provided with leadership training. These leadership classes are offered online, allowing participants to attend without leaving their desks. Such courses have proved to be beneficial, including a master class titled Leadership and Change Management featured in the FireRescue1 Academy. Maryland Emergency Response System (MDERS) continues to work with its stakeholder representatives to ensure the courses offered benefit the stakeholder, agency, and community.

To further support their personnel, many public safety agencies moved to a hybrid learning or meeting style once COVID-19 restrictions began to lift. Out of necessity, some ICS courses are offered online and in person. State Emergency Management organizations, such as Oklahoma, Florida, the District of Columbia, and California, have created online curricula for G-300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents & G-400: Advanced ICS, which were hosted exclusively in person prior the pandemic. Additionally, programs such as the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Active Attack Event Response Leadership course, which was previously exclusively taught in person, can now be accessed completed entirely online.  MDERS is constantly researching different options for courses which can be provided to its stakeholders in a fully online or hybrid format.  The Training and Exercise Team at MDERS has coordinated courses from the National Preparedness Leadership Institute, and the National Association of Counties High Performance Leadership Academy, which are offered online.  Additionally, the National Tactical Officers Association online course, teaches police personnel on the legalities and challenges faced when responding to suicidal subjects.

The world has changed more quickly and abruptly than imagined, and due to these changes, the workforce and training methods need to evolve. Leaders are adapting the way they lead, and trainings are adjusting to ensure they are accessible to everyone safely. However, whether it is a hybrid learning model or all online, some adjustments must be made to ensure their longevity.  MDERS has expanded their offering to stakeholders and is constantly looking to improve the learning experience and will continue to search for classes that will help the leaders of the Maryland-National Capital Region.