New Course Trains High School Students to Be 9-1-1 Telecommunicators

Students in Anne Arundel County will participate in the country’s first-ever program aimed at training high schoolers to be 9-1-1 telecommunicators. Glen Burnie High School is set to launch the program next year, which will focus on teaching students how to respond to a person calling 9-1-1 in distress and how to operate the technology in today’s 9-1-1 centers.

According to The Baltimore Sun:

Twenty-two applied to take “Police Communications: Entry Level Call Taker Training,” a yearlong elective class that includes classroom instruction, simulations and visits to the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s 911 dispatch center.

The 15 who are selected will learn computer-aided dispatch software; mapping location skills; and laws, policies and procedures for taking, screening and dispatching calls, according to the course description.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department, who proposed the program, hopes the class will help to fill vacancies at its 9-1-1 call centers, as well as 9-1-1 call centers across the state. High stress, training standards, and long hours have led to a nationwide shortage of 9-1-1 telecommunicators.

Maryland citizens demand and expect 9-1-1 emergency service to be reliable and efficient. Next-generation technology is required to keep up with this increasingly complex public safety function – improving wireless caller location, accommodating incoming text/video, and managing crisis-driven call overflows. Maryland must accelerate its move toward NG911, deliver these essential services equitably across the state, and assure effective coordination with communications providers.

Counties encourage efforts to enhance emergency communications in Maryland. HB 634/SB 285 – Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland – Establishment, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative, urges a statewide effort to guide this critical transition, harnessing public safety industry leadership and expertise to address complex public safety concerns that will help Maryland prepare for the deployment of a statewide Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system that our residents expect and deserve.

Senate Bill 285, sponsored by Senator Cheryl Kagan, passed the Senate unanimously on February 20. Its cross-file, House Bill 634, sponsored by Delegate Michael Jackson, passed the House of Delegates unanimously on March 15. Governor Hogan signed the legislation into law on April 24th.

At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, learn best practices for assessing, planning, and developing maintenance routines to keep Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data NG911 compliant.

Calibrating the Compass: GIS in a Next Gen 9-1-1 World

Description: Most 9-1-1 centers determine a mobile caller’s location based on technology that was adopted two decades ago…before cell phones were equipped with GPS. Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) will deliver more accurate location data – similarly to how apps like Uber can pinpoint your exact location – which will allow calls to be routed to the correct jurisdictions faster, potentially saving lives. NG911 will rely on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for call routing, call handling, call delivery, location validation, and emergency response. At this session, county leaders will discuss best practices for assessing, planning, and developing maintenance routines to keep GIS data NG911 compliant.

Speakers:

  • Jack Markey, Director, Division of Emergency Management, Frederick County
  • Kathy Lewis, GIS Specialist, Fire and EMS Communications, Charles County
  • Patrick Callahan, GIS Manager, Office of Information Technology, Prince George’s County
  • Matthew Sokol, GIS Program Manager, Maryland Department of Information Technology

Moderator: The Honorable Cheryl Kagan, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will be held Aug. 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, MD.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Rain Gardens Help Keep Bay Clean

According to an article in The Baltimore Sun, twenty percent of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay come from fertilizer, animal waste, and other contaminants found in stormwater. To help mitigate this pollution local governments, nonprofits, schools, jails are building bioretention sites to filter the runoff water before it hits the local waterways.

Also know as rain gardens, the Sun article highlights a 9,903 square foot rain garden that will be built by Trinity School in Ellicott City partnership between the Office of Community Sustainability and the Ellicott City-based Center for Watershed Protection on the school grounds. Over 1,000 such sites are located in Howard County.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

A bioretention site is a garden that catches and soaks up rainwater and runoff from nearby lawns and impervious surfaces, including parking lots, patios and roofs. Rain gardens look similar to typical gardens, but are dug deeper and include a mixture of soil, sand and compost.

At the Trinity School, the bioretention site will be designed to capture just over an inch of rainfall per storm, Hoffmann said. The school was a good choice for the bioretention site because of its available space near the discharge from the campus’ main water runoff pipes, meaning that the rain garden will easily catch stormwater runoff.

Read The Baltimore Sun to learn more.

Learn more about rain gardens and other local efforts to empower communities and residents to protect their environments at the MACo Summer Conference session “Green is the New Black.” The session will be held 2:15 -3:15 pm, Friday, August 17.

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

City Expands Program to Help Seniors Through Telehealth

The Baltimore City Health Department, in collaboration with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital’s Center for Successful Aging and the Westchester Public/Private Partnership, is expanding the successful Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors.

The program allows nurses to talk with and monitor their patients’ health from their homes. Currently 100 seniors are enrolled. The program will be expanded to serve an additional 250 seniors a year.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

Technology monitors blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels and weight. Nurses talk to patients remotely and ask questions about recent hospitalizations, changes in medication and recent falls.

“By utilizing the benefits of telehealth capabilities, we can ensure that many of our older citizens who may be unable to make regular visits to their medical professionals will have access to essential monitoring with the aim of identifying issues before they become more serious,” Pugh said in a statement.

Read The Baltimore Sun to learn more.

Maryland is preparing for an estimated 40% boom in its senior population over the next few years. Learn more about the growing senior demographic from U.S. Census Bureau data and how counties are using such data to launch targeted programs at the MACo Summer Conference session “Turn the Tide with Demographics: 2020 Census and the Senior Boom.” The session will be held Thursday, August 16, 2018 from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Diversity Caucus to Host Luncheon at #MACoCon

The Honorable Ingrid M. Turner (photo courtesy Maryland Archives)

The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus (Diversity Caucus) will hold a luncheon from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at the MACo Summer Conference. The luncheon is open to all conference attendees with a Thursday lunch ticket. A Thursday lunch ticket is provided with a full conference registration, and may also be purchased separately with the Thursday daily registration.

At this year’s luncheon join Judge Ingrid Turner of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court and Justin Ross of PWRJ Government Relations – a former county Council Member and former Maryland Delegate, respectively – for a discussion about leveraging passion and personal experiences for professional transitions in the public sector.

Justin Ross
Justin Ross (photo courtesy Maryland Archives)

The Diversity Caucus provides an organizational structure for county elected officials of minority descent to empower, represent, and respond to issues affecting the most vulnerable communities and constituencies; to promote legislation and policies beneficial to the people they represent; and to serve as a central point for information and participation within the Maryland Association of Counties. The mission of the Diversity Caucus is to foster current and future leaders from within the community of elected officials of minority descent and in Maryland county government, and to provide resources and support for Diversity Caucus members and those who share its goals. Visit the MACo website to learn more about the Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus.

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Green is the New Black

At this year’s MACo Summer Conference learn how correctional training and environmental programs intersect to build marketable job skills and improve communities in the process.

Title: Green is the New Black

Description: Local jails operate numerous programs where inmates can receive training along with marketable skills that are geared toward improving the ecology, quality, and beauty of the state’s waterways and surrounding communities. Rain gardening and landscaping, water retention pond maintenance, and oyster habitat restoration are just a few of the programs that connect environmental protection and job training. In this session, learn more about how these programs are a success for the individual inmates as well as the communities that benefit from their newly acquired skills.

Speakers:

  • Robert Green, Director, Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Marsha Bailey, Director of Re-Entry and Transition Services, DPSCS
  • Lori Lilly, Director, Howard EcoWorks

Moderator: The Honorable Charles Sydnor, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 17, 2018; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Good to the Last Drop: Keeping Your Water Clean

Ever wonder what keeps the water that comes out of your faucets clean? Or what happens to help clean after it goes down the drain? How does your water stay contaminant free? If so, the panelists at the MACo Summer Conference session, “Good to the Last Drop: Keeping Your Water Clean,” will help to answer those and other questions.

Title: Good to the Last Drop: Keeping Your Water Clean

Description: What do pharmaceuticals/drugs, lead, and human waste have in common? They all can—and unfortunately sometimes do—end up in our water systems! Public water systems are monitored for nearly 80 substances that are damaging to your health. Thankfully, whether it is through intricate county waste water treatment systems, regulations on home septic systems, or even simple education and outreach to residents, local governments have teams of professionals dedicated to keeping your water clean of pollutants and safe to consume or use. In this session, learn how local governments are working hard to protect your health and welfare by keeping your water clean of harmful toxins and contaminants and what you can do to help.

Speakers:

  • Clifford S. Mitchell, M.D., Director, Environmental Health Bureau, Maryland Department of Health
  • Leigh Broderick, L.E.H.S., Director, Environmental Health, Carroll County
  • Don Curtian, Director, Environmental Health, Anne Arundel County
  • John Holaday, CEO, Dispose Rx

Moderator: The Honorable Erek Barron, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 17, 2018; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Rising Tides of Rural Health Care

When it comes to the delivery of health care one size rarely fits all. Each area of the state faces its own unique challenges.

At the MACo Summer Conference session “Rising Tides of Rural Health Care” learn how rural communities across the state are thinking outside the box to address health care issues.

Title: Rising Tides of Rural Health Care

Description: Of Maryland’s 24 counties, 18 are considered rural and cover a population of over 1.6 million. These rural counties (and rural areas of urban counties) have unique challenges and vulnerable populations with needs that can be vastly different than those seen in their more urban counterparts. There are exciting, emerging opportunities to transform the framework for rural health care through new partnerships, innovative funding methods, and inventive means of delivering services. In this session, learn more about the future of rural health in Maryland.

Speakers:

  • Lara Wilson, Executive Director, Maryland Rural Health Association (MRHA)
  • Dr. Joseph Ciotola, Health Officer, Queen Anne’s County
  • Mark Luckner, Executive Director, Community Health Resource Commission
  • Simone Bratton, Medicaid, Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
  • Charlotte Davis, Executive Director, Rural Maryland Council

Moderator: The Honorable Mary Beth Carozza, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 17, 2018; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Big Discussions on Small Cells at MACo Symposium

Lead sponsor AT&T offers welcoming remarks.

MACo’s Spring Symposium ‘The Big Picture on Small Cells’ delivered important and timely information on the emerging technology to a full house of local government attendees.  

This year MACo’s spring symposium drew a wall-to-wall and wide ranging crowd of county officials, planners, IT officers, attorneys, government relations staff, and industry experts to discuss small cell technology and local governments role and responsibilities of managing deployment.

Held June 21, 2018 at the Newton White Manor in Prince George’s County participants discussed ways counties can prepare for and manage the deployment of small cells in their jurisdictions. The event was moderated by Mitsuko Herrera, Director of UltraMontgomery.


Andrew Afflerbach
Afflerbach explaining stakeholders involved in small cell technology.

Small Cell 101 and the Race to 5G

The day started with a nuts and bolts presentation about small cells and the oft discussed coming of 5G technology. Topics ranged from the components of a small cell, range and purpose of the services they provide, and how the technology fits in to present and future connectivity concerns.

Panelists included:

  • Andrew Afflerbach, Director of Engineering – CTC Technology and Energy

Small Cells Major Issues Panel
Presenters discussed federal timelines and shot clocks for small cells that counties must meet while managing processes on the local level.

Major Legal Issues

This Q&A style panel walked through important issues and legal considerations counties must consider when it comes to small cells. The panelists answered questions pitched by moderator Mitsuko Herrera and raised by audience members regarding topics including federal laws and shot clocks, the different roles counties play in the transactions and ensuring all the necessary county departments are involved, the various agreements that should be considered and crafted, and working with the expectations of community members.

Panelists included:

  • Gerard Lederer, Partner, BBK Law
  • Victor Tervala, Chief Solicitor, Baltimore City

Success Stories Panel
Speakers highlighted their jurisdictions’ accomplishments managing small cell deployment.

Success Stories

For the afternoon sessions, representatives from counties and municipalities showcased their success stories of devising agreements and/or ordinances and working with the industry to manage the deployment of small cells within their jurisdictions.

 

Panelists included:

  • Bill Jorch, Manager, Government Relations and Research, Maryland Municipal League (MML)
  • Helen Spinelli, Principal Planner, Queen Anne’s County
  • John Seefried, Bureau of Engineering, Howard County
  • Frank Johnson, Assistant City Attorney, City of Gaithersburg
  • Victor Tervala, Chief Solicitor, Baltimore City

Facilitated Discussion

The day ended with an open forum for audience member to ask any remaining questions they had for the moderator and other attendees in the room.

The event was sponsored by AT&T. Exhibitors included Crown Castle, Shulman Rogers Law Firm and Government Wireless Technology & Communications Association (GWTCA), Smartlink LLC, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.

Thank you, AT&T, for your continued support of Maryland’s counties!

ATnT

MACo will discuss small cells again as part of its 2018 Summer Conference Tech Expo. Learn more about “Surf’s Up! Small Cell Tsunami,”  scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, from 11 am – noon.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Questions? vwhite@mdcounties.org

MACo Soliciting 2019 Legislative Initiative Proposals

MACo is currently welcoming suggestions for legislative initiatives for the 2019 legislative session.

Each year, MACo adopts up to four topics to forward as initiatives — working with supportive legislators to get those bills introduced and enacted. Past years have seen a wide range of MACo focus — from major budgetary topics to legal clarifications to public health measures.

County governing bodies, individual elected officials, MACo’s professional affiliate groups, MACo chapter organizations, and others within the county community are welcome to suggest topics for consideration. Suggestions may be submitted by email to MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu by June 29.

MACo has an Initiatives Committee that meets through the interim period to review and evaluate the various proposals. The Committee typically presents its recommendations to the MACo Legislative Committee in the fall for the slate of initiatives to be adopted for the year ahead. From that point on, the membership and staff begin work on engaging supportive legislators, connecting with other interested players, and drafting the proposed statutory language needed.

Submit your suggestions for a 2019 MACo Initiative to nmehu@mdcounties.org by June 29!

Preparing for the 2020 Census and the Senior Boom

Do you know what awaits your county in 2020 and beyond? The U.S. Census Bureau is working to help you find out. The bureau is charged with gathering and analyzing data about the nation’s people and economy to help provide the information you need to help target and deliver services to your residents. Maryland is preparing for an estimated 40% boom in its senior population over the next few years and data from the U.S. Census Bureau can help you prepare.

Don’t get caught flat-footed on shifts in your county’s demographics! Learn more at the 2018 MACo Summer Conference session, “Turn the Tide with Demographics: 2020 Census and the Senior Boom.

Title: Turn the Tide with Demographics: 2020 Census and the Senior Boom

Description: The population of “Boomers” is booming. Between 2015 and 2030, it is estimated that Maryland’s senior population will increase by 40% from 1.2 million to 1.7 million individuals. What’s a state to do? Prepare! The 2020 U.S. Census will play a key role in counting the population and collecting the information that shapes the state’s demographics.  Census information is vital for local governments as they strategically plan to meet the needs of their diverse communities, address shifting demographics, and provide essential support and services to targeted populations such as seniors and their caregivers. In this session, learn about how key stakeholders are working to take stock of Maryland’s population and plan to address their needs in the future and beyond.

Speakers:

  • Pattie Tingle, Executive Director, MAC, Inc.
  • Nesreen Khashan, Data Dissemination Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau
  • The Honorable Catherine Pugh, Mayor, Baltimore City

Moderator: The Honorable Mike McKay, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

The 2018 MACo Summer Conference will be held August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Water, Water Everywhere.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: