MEMA Earns International Recognition for Pandemic Response

Maryland Emergency Management Agency logoThe International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) recently recognized the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) with a global technology award for the agency’s innovative approach to resource management during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

When availability and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) became an important consideration in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland needed a way to find out how quickly the material was being used — also known as the burn rate.

Amidst a rapidly unfolding situation, the State needed an accurate way to predict PPE burn rates according to case rate to determine how long the current supply would last and an assessment of future needs. In addition, federal officials sought a reliable way to calculate the use of PPE in each state to develop an equitable distribution system for new supplies.

“Once again, our team at MEMA thought outside the box to come up with a quick solution to an urgent issue that cropped up in the early months of the pandemic,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “I could not be more proud of our people for their creative thinking and agility, all while dealing with the most serious public health emergency we have faced.”

According to a MEMA press release:

MEMA led a team of officials charged with implementing a burn rate modeling system to predict the state’s future PPE needs. This effort involved collaboration with hospital coalitions, universities, the private sector, and emergency managers. The process used composite modeling to produce a mean burn rate to project potential PPE needs.

Local-level sampling from end users on the front lines provided daily snapshots of actual use. Using that local sampling and extrapolating it across the state meant burn rate projections could be compared to the real-world snapshots. Using that method, MEMA created a tool to support several critical planning factors.

You can see the Burn Rate Calculator manual at

MEMA will accept this award later this year as part of the IAEM Annual Conference.

Visit the MEMA website for more information.