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.