On May 31st through June 3rd, 2022, the Maryland Emergency Management Association (MDEMA) held its annual symposium in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s symposium, entitled Vision for the Future of Emergency Management, brought together emergency managers, public safety personnel, and other responders from around the state to network and discuss a variety of topics currently impacting the emergency management enterprise.
As part of this year’s symposium, MDERS staff and stakeholders presented on four separate topics: Building Comprehensive Response Capabilities within the Maryland-National Capital Region, Fostering Collaboration and Coordination through Kinetic Learning, Strengthening Collaboration and Coordination through the Implementation of UAS, and Paving the Way for Public Access Trauma Care in the Maryland-National Capital Region. Each of these topics demonstrated different areas in which MDERS and its stakeholders are innovating and expanding the region’s emergency response capabilities.
Building Comprehensive Response Capabilities within the Maryland-National Capital Region
Director Luke Hodgson, Planning & Organization Program Manager Samuel Ascunce, and Finance & Logistics Program Manager Lauren Collins outlined to attendees how MDERS has established a capability development process which builds, implements, and sustains critical response capabilities in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. At the core of the capability development process is the POETEE model, which consists of Planning, Organization, Equipment, Training, Exercise, and Evaluation. MDERS continues to successfully apply and adapt the capability development process across the Maryland-National Capital Region response enterprise to better strengthen stakeholders’ abilities to respond to a multitude of planned and unplanned operations. Participants gained the knowledge, tools, and best practices for building and/or enhancing capabilities within their jurisdictions.
Fostering Collaboration and Coordination through Kinetic Learning
Training and Exercise Specialist Hannah Thomas and Lt. John Berry from the City of Rockville Police Department facilitated a discussion with attendees on MDERS’s Tabletop in a Box program. This systematic, scalable, and economical approach for developing critical capabilities through readily deployable exercises, has been implemented throughout the Maryland-National Capital Region across a multitude of law enforcement, fire, rescue, and emergency medical services (EMS), healthcare, and public health organizations. Conference attendees participated in a Tabletop in a Box exercise during the conference, responding to a severe weather emergency in the Ocean City area leading up to a holiday weekend.
Strengthening Collaboration and Coordination through the Implementation of UAS
Training and Exercise Specialist Hannah Thomas, Chief Doug Hinkle from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), Mitch Dinowitz from the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS), and Lt. Victor “Tony” Galladora from the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) led a discussion with symposium attendees on the development of Montgomery County’s small-unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) capability over the past four years. The program, which is now fully integrated within MCFRS, MCOEMHS, and MCPD, supports a variety of emergency response needs, including advanced situational awareness and information sharing. The panel of leaders from Montgomery County provided detailed examples on how the County deploys and benefits from the capability on an ongoing basis as part of its emergency response capabilities.
Paving the Way for Public Access Trauma Care in the Maryland-National Capital Region
Finance & Logistics Program Manager Lauren Collins and Emergency Response Planning Specialist Peter McCullough provided attendees with a deep-dive look at the origins, implementation, and expansion of the Public Access Trauma Care (PATC) in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Designed to educate, equip, and empower bystanders to provide life-saving medical aid in the critical minutes before responders arrive on-scene, the PATC program has been deployed across the Prince George’s and Montgomery County public school systems. Participants learned about the step-by-step process through which MDERS developed and deployed the PATC program, as well as how the program has already helped save lives in the Maryland-National Capital Region.