Three So. Marylanders Join Governor's Emergency Management Advisory Council

ANNAPOLIS (March 6, 2008) - Governor Martin O'Malley today swore in 21 new members to the Governor's Emergency Management Advisory Council (GEMAC), an advisory council that is charged with advising the Governor on all matters relating to emergency management. Of the new members, two are residents of St. Mary's County and one hails from Calvert County.

GEMAC was created by statute in 1981, and is required to submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31 of each year on emergency management recommendations.

The Council members from southern Maryland are:

Timothy K. Cameron - Mr. Cameron is Sheriff for St. Mary's County and a member of the National Defense Industry Association. He is a St. Mary's County resident.

John R. Fenwick - Mr. Fenwick is the Emergency Management Director for Calvert County, a volunteer paramedic in Calvert County, and a volunteer firefighter in St. Mary's County and Calvert County. He is a Calvert County resident.

The Honorable Thomas A. Mattingly, Sr. - Mr. Mattingly currently serves as the St. Mary's County Commissioner. Prior to that, Mr. Mattingly worked for Verizon Communications for 31 years. He is a member of the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department and is a St. Mary's County resident.

"Maryland can be - and should be - nothing less than the best-prepared state in America," said Governor O'Malley. "Making our State safer demands the expertise and independent advice of the best minds in law, industry and emergency management. I am confident that the members of the Emergency Management Advisory Council will create new ideas and develop new initiatives to improve homeland security and preparedness in Maryland."

12 Core Homeland Security Capacities

Last year, Governor O'Malley outlined a checklist of 12 core homeland security capacities - the standards by which Maryland will be measuring the readiness of its localities and which every state in the nation can use to determine whether they are meeting their responsibilities - including: interoperable communications; intelligence/information sharing; HAZ MAT/Explosive device response; personal protective equipment for first responders; bio-surveillance; vulnerability assessment; training and exercises; CCTV; mass casualty/hospital surge; planning; backup power and communications; and transportation security.

1. Interoperable Communications-First responders in every region in Maryland should have access to a fully digital, trunked radio system which all response partners can access in order to transmit and receive voice and data.

2. Intelligence/Information Sharing-Law enforcement officers in every region in Maryland should have the ability to transmit and receive law enforcement database information from the field and share that information on a real-time basis.

3. HAZ MAT/Explosive device response-Every metropolitan region should have a Type 1 Haz Mat team and a Type 1 bomb response team, either as one unit, or separate units, and there should be sufficient units statewide to provide a mutual aid response in any jurisdiction within a minimal amount of time.

4. Personal Protective Equipment for First Responders-All police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical providers in every metropolitan region should have ready and immediate access to personal protective equipment, including at a minimum some form of emergency airway protection, access to more advanced breathing apparatus and protective suits, and medications and antidotes against common WMD agents, and the training to use this equipment properly. All police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical providers in rural regions should have ready and immediate access to personal protective equipment appropriate to local hazards.

5. Bio-surveillance-Every region in Maryland should have access to a real-time, 24/7 statewide bio-surveillance system that incorporates a wide span of data, including symptoms presenting in emergency rooms and to paramedics, over-the-counter sales of pharmaceuticals, animal carcass pick up, and in metropolitan areas, sensor-based data, such as air monitoring for chemical and radiological releases.

6. Vulnerability Assessment- Every region in Maryland should have a comprehensive all-hazards threat and vulnerability assessment in place and fully updated every three years, including an assessment and inventory of critical infrastructure in the region.

7. Training and Exercises- Every region in Maryland should have a fully funded program of annual training and preparedness exercises which address the most likely hazards and threats for that area, including drills with partner jurisdictions who may provide mutual aid at least twice per year.

8. CCTV- Maryland should have a robust closed circuit television (CCTV) network to secure critical infrastructure such as power and water treatment plants and to provide the ability to monitor events in real time via means such as highway cameras to aid in evacuation control, and patrol car, helicopter, and marine unit downlinks to aid in incident response.

9. Mass Casualty/Hospital Surge- Every region in Maryland should have the equipment, supplies, and training to respond to a mass casualty event either directly or via close at hand mutual aid, including events requiring mass decontamination.

10. Planning- Every region in Maryland should have the capacity to develop plans to conduct no-notice and advance notice evacuation of its population, including special needs populations, persons without transportation, and vulnerable facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living centers-and in conjunction with partners, access to the equipment, personnel and supplies to carry out these plans.

11. Backup Power and Communications- Every region in Maryland should have an inventory of pre-identified critical facilities, including privately owned facilities such as gas stations, and an up to date assessment of their backup power capabilities.

12. Transportation Security- Maryland's water ports, airports, train stations, subways, and rail lines should be fully hardened against attack with permanent physical countermeasures such as CCTV, lighting and fencing, and receive regular and randomly assigned heightened attention from covert and overt patrols by local and state law enforcement.

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