START has recently won a contract to conduct training for fire intelligence officers and senior leaders within the National Capital Region through the DHS-funded Urban Area Security Initiative, High Threat Liaison Program. To strengthen their interagency capacity to address terrorist threats, Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and the Arlington County Fire Department are partnering with START and other University of Maryland entities to develop and deliver an academically rigorous professional development program.
The course aims to educate senior leaders on critical threats and vulnerabilities facing the region and give them foundational knowledge and tools necessary to build more resilient and effective response systems that optimize intelligence gathering and sharing within the National Capital Region.
“START is excited about the opportunity to work with a local partner on a project which can directly impact our regional community’s preparedness and resilience,” said Liberty Day, assistant director of START training and education. “Not only does the partnership have the benefit of fitting within our organizational mission but it also brings together multiple units on campus to develop an academically informed curriculum based on each unit’s respective expertise.”
The multi-day, multi-week long training will be led by subject matter experts at START and other university units including the Department of Fire Protection Engineering, the Maryland Global Initiative for Cybersecurity (MaGIC) and the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Maryland (CISSM).
“We are excited to partner with a world class academic institution in our own backyard,” said Michael Marino, an Assistant Chief for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and program manager. “Building structural and intellectual capacity around high threat events is a unique opportunity to explore novel thinking for traditional and emerging threats. Failure of imagination cannot occur in our operating environment.”
Through the course, participants will gain knowledge and tools to evaluate current and emerging terrorist tactics, techniques and threats. The course will provide both a basic overview of terrorism – including definitional issues and global trends – as well as a deeper dive into cutting-edge research on radicalization, the evolution of global jihadism and how terrorist can exploit new technologies and modern infrastructure. Other topics include geospatial analysis of risk and threat, design and build for fire safety, emergency response and mass messaging, crisis leadership and decision-making, and best practices for building an interagency task force.
The training course will be developed this spring and summer, and launched shortly thereafter.
START’s partnership with the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department will build upon its work with Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) in support of the county. In 2016, START began working with PGCPS' Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (HSEP) to help support teacher professional development.
Now in its third year, START resources supported the district's CTE program for aspiring youth. In the spring, START provided research assistance and served as the host organization for the HSEP Program's year-end Capstone event for graduating seniors, which also included selected homeland security and emergency management agencies, higher education institutions and private sector industry partners.
Organizations interested in working with START to develop trainings for their teams should contact email@example.com. START also hosts a variety of in person and online training opportunities, which can be found on its website at www.start.umd.edu/training.