PIKESVILLE, Md. (August 26, 2011)—In coordination with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and local emergency officials, Maryland State Police personnel are being deployed to strategic areas and will be ready to respond during and after the impending hurricane.
Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus Brown has activated the State Police Mobile Field Force and is pre-deploying additional troopers from that force in Worcester, Talbot, and Cecil counties. The State Police Underwater Recovery Team is pre-deploying along with three boats in those same counties.
Already this morning, 50 troopers joined Ocean City Police Department officers to assist with evacuation efforts in the resort. Troopers are assisting officers with door-to-door notifications regarding the mandatory evacuation order in Ocean City.
The largest State Police mobile command center is being moved to the Eastern Shore. It contains a full range of interoperable communications equipment. That command center will deploy as a command post at a disaster scene or it will be used to continue the operations of a barrack that sustains weather damage. Two other command vehicles will remain on the Western Shore and will be ready if needed.
Additional State Police personnel not normally assigned to road patrol have already been assigned to supplement troopers at barracks on the Eastern Shore throughout the weekend. Accommodations have been arranged at State Police barracks and through the National Guard. Extra troopers are prepared to stay on the Shore as long as necessary.
All State Police personnel have been put on standby and are to be ready for immediate recall to duty. Colonel Brown has directed supervisors, commanders, and personnel not normally assigned to road patrol to be ready for duty.
State Police personnel will be assigned to each county emergency operations center. This will provide troopers a direct link to issues in each county and increase State Police response speed to areas of need. Troopers are also a part of MEMA operations and will be coordinating State Police response with emergency managers there.
Throughout Friday, troopers will be working with Ocean City Police officers who are evacuating the resort town. Troopers are also deployed along evacuation routes; and are working to keep traffic moving.
Additional State Police four-wheel drive vehicles have been assigned to Eastern Shore barracks to provide better access to areas where roads may be flooded. Troopers will work with local fire and rescue services and will make every effort to reach anyone in need.
The State Police Aviation Command helicopter fleet will be ready to fly as soon as weather permits. State Police helicopter crews have conducted extra hoist rescue training this summer, which included training with the Beach Patrol in Ocean City. If aerial rescues are needed, State Police helicopter crews will be ready to respond.
Engineers and inspectors from the Office of the State Fire Marshal are on standby to assist with building inspections if needed. Deputy state fire marshals are also on alert and will be dispatched through MEMA if needed.
Colonel Brown urges citizens to heed the Governors advice and the instructions of local emergency officials. That advice includes staying off the roads during the storm and not driving into flooded roadways and risk being stranded.
Use common sense, Colonel Brown said. Do not go out unnecessarily and risk creating an emergency rescue situation. The men and women of the Maryland State Police will be on patrol and ready to respond in coordination with our state and local partners.
For the latest statewide emergency information, citizens are urged to visit the State of Maryland website at www.maryland.gov. In addition to making home and family preparations, citizens are also reminded to ensure their pets are appropriately cared for during the storm.