MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Governor Martin O’Malley signed an Executive Order today flanked by County Executive Rushern L. Baker, Public Safety Director Barry L. Stanton and Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor. In attendance and witnessing the signing of the Executive Order were Bomb Squad Commanders from jurisdictions throughout the State of Maryland as well as members of respective bomb squads and their units.
Prince George's County Public Safety Director Barry Stanton remarked, "I am humbled to stand here today with the men and women of our Bomb Squads that place their life on the line every time they are called to protect and serve our communities."
This Executive Order confirms the actions already taken by the involved parties to enhance the protections of all Maryland’s citizens. The clarifications made in the document provide clear understanding in providing:
(1) Mutual aid among Maryland’s accredited bomb squads to ensure effective bomb squad response statewide;
(2) A regional response plan to ensure bomb squad readiness and coordination throughout the State;
(3) Joint training exercises across jurisdictions and disciplines, including law enforcement; and
(4) Mechanisms for sharing and analyzing performance data.
Under Governor O’Malley the state has overcome an information gap on the capabilities of bomb and hazmat teams statewide and has focused on developing and tracking training, equipment, capabilities, and response time.
- Every region in Maryland has access to a Type 1 bomb squad whose members are trained at the FBI’s national training center. The community of bomb technicians in Maryland consists of several highly trained individuals. Bomb Response teams that are designated Type I are the most highly trained and are able to respond and effectively mitigate most hazardous device incidents. Maryland Bomb Squads participate in joint-training opportunities and Maryland Bomb Squad Commanders meet on a quarterly basis to share information and discuss issues of mutual concern.
- Purchased state-of-the-art bomb disrupter and render-safe equipment for the State and local Bomb Response Teams. The State has helped secure more than $2 million in federal funds since 2007 for the Bomb Response Teams that serve Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. The new equipment includes Vehicle-Bourne IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) Disruptors and Access Systems, response vehicles, X-ray enhancements, and additional protective bomb suits. Since 2007, the State has also secured federal funding to purchase disrupter tools, response vehicles, and other critical equipment for Bomb Response teams in Annapolis City, Baltimore City and Baltimore County. In addition, the Governor Office of Homeland Security (GOHS) helped to secure over $250,000 for the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) State Bomb Team. This funding will help the OSFM to fill some of the identified resource gaps by upgrading the existing bomb robot located in Southern Maryland, to purchase a response vehicle, and enhanced IED render safe tools.
- Since 2010, all Bomb Squad Response Teams have been assembling a team of certified bomb technicians on scene within one-hour 80 percent of the time. . In 2007, Maryland’s Bomb Response Teams set a statewide goal of responding on-site to all incidents within one hour of notification. By the beginning of 2010, all local Bomb Response Teams were reporting monthly bomb response data to the State Fire Marshal clearly demonstrating that all teams (including the State Bomb Response Team, which is responsible for responding to incidents in rural areas) are able to respond to at least 80 percent of calls within one hour.
- The State Bomb Squad is currently equipping and training a multi-jurisdiction maritime and underwater bomb response team. The State Bomb Squad was allocated more than $400,000 in federal stimulus funds to develop a joint local and state bomb response team for threats occurring over or under the water such as attacks similar to the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. This multi-jurisdictional team is expected to be outfitted with equipment and operational by January of 2012.
|Governor O'Malley describes the Executive Order he is about to sign that will establish regional bomb squad readiness and coordination. (BRADY)|
|County Executive Baker greets members of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department Bomb Squad. (Brady)|
|PGFD Bomb Squad Commander Dale Ednock provides County Executive Baker and Governor O'Malley an overview of a recently acquired bomb unit. (BRADY)|
|Bomb Squad Technician Christopher Lynge demonstrates the use of a bomb disposal unit to Governor O'Malley and Fire Chief Bashoor. (BRADY)|