Accomplishments for Goal #3 HAZ MAT/Explosive Device Response
Hazardous Materials and Bomb Squad
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 equipment, capabilities, and response time. The responsibilities for the unique situations involving chemicals or suspected explosives are distributed across a variety of local and state entities and, prior to 2007, the State had collected very little data on statewide or regional capability. Overcoming information gaps and forging partnerships has become the main area of focus as the State looks to form a more cohesive and coordinated response coalition. Following are key projects and accomplishments:
- Every region in Maryland has access to a Type 1 Hazardous Materials Team and Bomb Squad whose members are trained at the FBI’s national training center. Maryland has a total of 15 Type I Hazardous Materials teams and 7 Type I Bomb Squads. Specialized response teams that are Type I operate the most advanced and sophisticated equipment, and are able to respond to incidents in the most populated and at-risk areas of the State.
- Maryland Bomb Squads are able to respond to 95 percent of all reported explosive device-related incidents in the State, including rural or remote areas, within one hour of notification – four times better than the national minimum standard of a four hour response. Nationwide, Bomb Squads should be able to respond to an explosive device-related incident within four hours of notification, according to FBI standards. Maryland’s Bomb Squads have voluntarily adopted a one hour response time goal and have consistently met this goal for approximately 95 percent of incidents statewide since at least 2011.
- Signed the Regional Bomb Squad Readiness and Coordination Executive Order on August 9, 2011. This Executive Order, signed August 2011, formally recognizes a framework that the State’s seven Bomb Squads have voluntarily developed to coordinate responses to explosive-related incidents, share equipment and personnel, and improve operations and capabilities. Following the executive order’s signing, the State’s Bomb Squads have agreed to report detailed incident data to the ATF’s national Bomb Arson Tracking System, (BATS), including incident type (Explosion, Recovery, Suspicious Package, or Threat) and location, which assists the State’s Fusion Center with identifying threat patterns against critical infrastructure or targeted communities.
- Created a specialized, multi-jurisdictional Maritime Bomb Squad that is trained and equipped to prevent and respond to water-borne explosive devices. This team became operational in January 2012 and adds enhanced protection for the critical assets in the Port of Baltimore, the Chesapeake Bay, and other Maryland waterways. This OSFM-led team has played a leadership role in developing a national response capability for Bomb Squads and more recently helped draft a maritime section for the National Guidelines for Bomb Technicians.
- Invested more than $6 million in state-of-the-art equipment for the both the State and local Bomb Squads. Since 2007 Maryland has secured more than $6 million in federal grant funds from the two Urban Area Security Initiative programs that serve the State (Baltimore Metropolitan Region and the National Capital Region). Equipment purchased with these funds allows the State’s Bomb Squads to safely dismantle vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (IEDs), person-borne IEDs, and other dangerous weapons.
- Since 2007, the State has invested more than $500,000 in its statewide Hazardous Materials Response Team to outfit them with state-of-the-art response equipment. Maryland’s recent investments includes improved radiation, chemical, and vapor detection and identification equipment; improved equipment for response and mitigation of multiple and large scale hazardous incidents; and enhanced safety equipment for responders contributed to our response; 3,000 feet of open water containment boom; a 25-foot maritime response vessel; and enhanced protective clothing for responders.
- 3/19/12 - New Video on Homeland Security Goal
- 9/11/11 - Statement from Governor Martin O’Malley on the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks
- 9/9/11 - A More Resilient Maryland: 12 Core Capacities for Homeland Security
- 9/1/11 - Governor O'Malley Tours Maryland Transit Administration Police Monitoring Facility
- 8/30/11 - Statement from Governor Martin O’Malley on Current Status of Power Outages
- Maryland's Strategic Goals & Objectives for Homeland Security
- Community Resilience Task Force Final Report (2011)
- Countering Violent Extremism (2010)
- James Lee Witt Report on Emergency Management and Homeland Security in Maryland - Phase I
- James Lee Witt Report on Emergency Management and Homeland Security in Maryland - Phase II
- Maryland Maritime Strategic Security Plan