In a time of constrained resources and ever-evolving threats across the homeland security enterprise, utilizing emerging technology to overcome capability gaps remains a challenging process. The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) reserves five percent of its annual budget, to support innovative solutions that meet current capability goals or address emerging threats, as outlined in the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. These funds support the identification, procurement, implementation, and evaluation of novel solutions through the MDERS Innovation Program.
Maryland-National Capital Region stakeholders are able to submit proposals to the Innovation Program to pilot and evaluate new technologies or other innovative solutions. These pilot programs are limited to a maximum cost of $20,000.00 and a period of performance of 180 days or fewer, as well as compliance with the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant requirements. All proposals for the programs are ultimately reviewed and approved by the MDERS Steering Committee prior to awarding any funds.
The initial year of the Innovation Program, FY20, made possible several enterprise-wide initiatives, including the following:
Situational Awareness Cameras for Law Enforcement Armored Vehicles
This initiative provides video cameras mounted to law enforcement armored vehicles that will live stream video footage to the incident command post. These cameras further enhance situational awareness and inform decision making by providing incident commanders with a real-time view of the incident.
PerSim Augmented Reality Patient Assessment Training System
The PerSim system provides a portable, interactive patient assessment training utilizing the Microsoft Hololens system. This system provides a realistic patient simulation, allowing the trainer to create realistic patient reactions to interventions in real time. The portability of the system provides personnel with the ability to be trained while remaining available for emergency responses.
Augment Training Systems (ATS) Virtual Reality Mass Casualty Triage Training System
The ATS training system provides a portable solution to mass casualty triage training, based on the Oculus virtual reality headset. This tool enables personnel to conduct training on mass casualty triage in any location. The system lets responders experience a large number of divers patients and a variety of scenarios without the use of traditional exercises.
Leader Search Bluetooth Listening Device
The Leader Bluetooth sensors provide structural collapse rescue teams with the ability to rapidly deploy sensors, with an increased range, to listen for trapped victims during a response. The system can be expanded across a wider search area using corded sensors for additional listening capability.
My Emergency Operations Plan (MyEOP) Application
The MyEOP application is a phone-based application designed for healthcare and other facilities to have electronic access to their emergency plans, procedures, and other information in-hand at all times.
For more information on the MDERS Innovation Program, please contact Mike Ryman at Michael.Ryman1@Maryland.Gov.