The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) provides its member organizations with the services to develop comprehensive emergency response capabilities. This includes dissecting a problem statement, developing a desired outcome state, and reverse engineering. The result is a full set of plans, organizations, equipment, trainings, and exercises that address the entire need. The case below highlights the benefits received from the MDERS methodology to address local needs.
Members of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department (PGFD), Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD). And Maryland ERS (MDERS) conducted a needs assessment to evaluate capabilities for off-road response to routine and large-scale events. The team focused on after-action reports and incidents from all departments. That report identified a set of gaps that included policy development, equipment needs, and training requirements. Working with local leaders, MDERS received an allocation from the Urban Area Security Initiative to address those needs.
All departments developed a policy to address the technical rescue operations. Operational personnel completed training on the Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV). All vehicles, equipment, and training were purchased using Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funds to address gaps in response, rescue, and evacuation of casualties from a terrorist incident, while also recognizing the dual-use for routine emergency operations for each department. Montgomery and Prince George’s County police and fire departments received a combination of 17 units with equipment and removable skids.
Training for vehicle operation requires two full days of hands-on instruction by staff in challenging remote locations. All personnel were required to complete online training and driving courses. The course is designed to provide the vehicle operator the knowledge and experience for trailer connection, operations, and maintenance. Personnel complete twelve hours of driving preparation, skills practice, and written evaluation. This capability offers first responders a rapid response platform to deliver personnel, medical equipment, and patient transport access to remote areas.
The MCFRS and PGFD assigned these assets to various stations. The police department’s assigned these vehicles to their Special Operations Sections. Each UTV is stored in a weather-protected trailer with supporting supplies for quick deployment. Each department secured funds to allocate support vehicles to tow the trailers, establish facility upgrades for the electrical power source to charge all equipment, and to provide designated interior storage space. This cooperative arrangement provides the community of Montgomery and Prince George’s County the resources necessary to respond to an emergency incident, even in austere terrain.
Each UTV provides seating to deliver four personnel to the scene of an off road or remote incident. The frame design allows easy configuration changes for load carry, emergency medical service response, and protected patient transport. Designed as an off road vehicle, the frame is lightweight, extremely durable, and equipped with a winch capable of moving 3,000 pounds. Lighting for the vehicle is provided by an energy efficient LED mounted system. These features provide safety benefits to the rescuers, patients, and bystanders.
The Maryland-National Capital Region Emergency Response System (MDERS) is a federally-funded grant program administered by MIEMSS. Please contact Mike McAdams, Planning & Organization Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.