Last week, I made a second call on our Maryland FiRST statewide radio communications system to mark the successful implementation of the system’s expansion to the Eastern Shore. The State’s first-ever statewide radio communications system puts first responders on the entire Eastern Shore and parts of Central Maryland on the same radio channel so they can communicate more effectively and better coordinate resources in the event of an emergency. These emergency personnel are responsible for 55 percent of our population and key critical infrastructure sites, including the northern I-95 corridor, Port of Baltimore, and BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport. By 2017, the Maryland FiRST system will serve all of our state’s citizens, from Ocean City to Oakland.
Keeping Marylanders safe and secure is the most sacred responsibility of our government, and the Maryland FiRST system is helping to ensure that we carry out that responsibility efficiently and effectively.
We’ve also invested in ESSENCE (Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics), a web-based system designed for early detection of disease outbreaks. Every hospital in the state uses this system to protect Marylanders from infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.
And we’ve increased traffic management video feeds available to our first responders from 266 feeds in 2009 to 1,657 video feeds now available, an expansion of over 520 percent.
These innovative investments are essential in helping us meet Maryland’s homeland security goals as part of the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s 16 strategic goals.
When Marylanders unite to achieve our goals, we are unstoppable. Together, we can continue to build on our homeland security successes as we work to create a more secure One Maryland.
Click here to view a video of Governor O’Malley’s second call on the Maryland FiRST system.