CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

PUBLIC SAFETY

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY SERVICES

The Department of Emergency Services includes Animal Control Services, the Emergency Management Division, Emergency Medical Services, and Fire and EMS Communications. The Department is aided by the Board of Fire and Rescue Commissioners and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TRAINING
Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) is offered by the Department of Emergency Services to educate residents on how to respond to emergencies, ranging from natural disasters to acts of terrorism. Training covers classes on fire suppression, emergency medical practices, and search and rescue procedures.

ANIMAL CONTROL SERVICES

Enforcing the County's animal regulations, Animal Control Services conducts regular patrols; responds to calls from residents; and inspects animal establishments, such as shelters, zoos, or circuses. Animal Control Services also conducts public information programs to notify residents of regulations and programs offered by the County.

The Chief of Animal Control supervises animal control officers, who respond to emergency calls related to animals. Officers conduct investigations regarding complaints of stray or vicious animals, or at the request of the Animal Matters Hearing Board. Investigating animal bites, officers are required to alert the Board, as well as the County Health Department, and report their findings. Subpoenas issued by the Board are delivered by officers who notify owners if their animal is impounded (County Code, secs. 230-1 through 230-16).

TRI-COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER
Located in Hughesville, the Tri-County Animal Shelter receives and cares for stray and unwanted animals, and allows for the adoption of animals in its care (County Code, sec. 230-7). In cooperation with animal services from Calvert and St. Maryís counties, Charles County Animal Control Services operates the Tri-County Animal Shelter.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION

The Emergency Management Division serves as liaison to federal, State and local government agencies, and coordinates efforts during emergencies. Responsible for developing and maintaining the County's emergency operations plan, the Division supervises emergency preparation, and conducts education and training programs for County employees and residents (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 14-109 through 14-113).

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES

To ensure that emergency medical care is available to residents in all areas of the County, Emergency Medical Services maintains and operates a fleet of response vehicles to provide on-site and in-transit medical care. During emergencies, Emergency Medical Services may operate in other jurisdictions, at their request.

FIRE & EMS COMMUNICATIONS

Fire and Emergency Medical Services Communications directs the County's emergency communication network. Through this network, State, County, local and volunteer units are coordinated to respond to emergencies. The Agency also maintains local emergency responder radio systems, and receives 911 calls for the County.

FIRE MARSHAL

For the Southern Region (Calvert, Charles & St. Maryís counties), the Deputy State Fire Marshal serves as an assistant to the State Fire Marshal, and is responsible for fire safety in Charles County. The Deputy oversees the investigation and enforcement of laws regarding arson; fire prevention; the installation and maintenance of fire detection and extinguisher equipment; the availability and adequacy of fire exits at public and commercial establishments; and the storage, sale, or use of explosives and combustibles (Code Public Safety Article, sec. 6-305).

The Deputy State Fire Marshal is appointed by the State Fire Marshal (Code Public Safety Article, sec. 6-303).

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