Local MD Emergency Management Operations Support Update – Winter 2015
CHHS professionals work with many local public health and emergency management offices throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia to provide staff support and expertise on a daily basis. Recent efforts include:
Baltimore City Health Department
In the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, CHHS Senior Policy Analyst Shannon Snyder continues a partnership between CHHS and Baltimore City that goes back nearly nine years. As the Strategic National Stockpile Coordinator, Snyder is heavily involved in writing, updating, and testing the City’s Emergency Medical Countermeasures Plan. The latest version of the plan, which outlines requests for and deployments of assets from the Strategic National Stockpile and Point of Dispensing (POD) operations for the city of Baltimore, was completed in early 2015.
Managing PODs for the City, Snyder recruits and secures closed POD locations, facilitates Memoranda of Understanding with various POD partners, provides POD training to Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) leadership and POD partners, and conducts routine site assessments. Most recently, she planned and facilitated an in-depth POD drill with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks in March 2015, which included the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, Department of General Services, Behavioral Health System Baltimore, the Baltimore City Police Department, and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
On a regular basis, Snyder also assists Baltimore’s Emergency Operations Center as the BCHD liaison. This past fall and winter she helped during weather activations and worked with the Baltimore Area Command during the Star-Spangled Spectacular events, which drew more than one million people to downtown Baltimore. Additionally, Snyder has assisted with ongoing biosurveillance activities that monitor trends in emergency department visits and over-the-counter medication sales to help the City stay on top of current public health events.
Inauguration Planning in Annapolis
The City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is another long-standing CHHS client and partner. Former Senior Law and Policy Analyst David Mandell became the Deputy Director of OEM in late 2014, and CHHS Policy Analyst Patrick Donlan has taken over his role as the City’s Emergency Planner.
One of Donlan’s first responsibilities included planning for Maryland’s 62nd Gubernatorial Inauguration this past January. More than two months of preparation helped the City, along with more than 14 state and local agencies, pull off an incident-free inauguration.
Special event planning requires up-to-date operational plans and keen situational awareness. Donlan used his emergency management expertise to support the development of an Incident Action Plan, which included coordination of available resources and designated responsibilities in the event of a public safety threat impacting the more than 1,500 attendees. The City of Annapolis, and all the state and local agencies involved, worked together seamlessly to plan ahead, monitor events in real-time, and support a successful large-scale special event.
Countering Violent Extremism in Montgomery County
CHHS continues to support the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) on a variety of initiatives. Currently, CHHS staff support OEMHS’ grants management, emergency management planning, and community outreach projects.
In her role supporting Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) project management for OEMHS, CHHS Senior Law and Policy Analyst Maggie Davis has recently undertaken an effort with the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE) and the Montgomery County Police Department to expand the WORDE Model for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) to the rest of the National Capital Region (NCR). As leaders in CVE, WORDE has trained law enforcement across the nation on how to identify religious extremists. CHHS is excited to be working with a team of experts to gain a stronger understanding of this upcoming field and further develop our expertise.
For the past several years, WORDE has worked with Montgomery County agencies and communities to develop the first community-led model in CVE in the country. The model’s multi-faceted approach has been recognized by the White House as a best practice.
Best described as an early-warning system, the WORDE CVE model combats violent extremism by creating a community-wide network of stakeholders committed to promoting social cohesion and public safety, in particular preventing vulnerable individuals from mobilizing into violent action. By educating the wider circle of trusted adults who will come in contact with a potentially vulnerable person, the model ensures they are equipped to intervene and refer that person for services before they turn to violence. This requires building relationships of trust that extend beyond violent extremism and build resilience to future threats.
Working closely with Hedieh Mirahmadi, Director of WORDE, Davis developed UASI training proposals to request funding to introduce the WORDE model to other NCR jurisdictions. Through the training, law enforcement, school officials, health and human service counselors, and other relevant stakeholders will be educated in the risk factors of violent extremism, as well as learning when to refer them for services or report to law enforcement as needed. Earlier this year an initial proposal was presented to the NCR Police Chiefs Committee, which unanimously endorsed the project, and it is currently under review for a Fiscal Year 2015 grant.
This test is taken from the CHHS Spring 2015 Newsletter