[photo, Department of Emergency Services, 23090 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland]


In Fiscal Year 2012, the Department of Emergency Services merged with the Department of Information Technology to form the Department of Emergency Services and Technology. In November 2017, the merger was undone when the Department of Emergency Services again was made into a separate agency apart from the Department of Information Technology.

Department of Emergency Services, 23090 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland, November 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Today, the Department of Emergency Services coordinates emergency response efforts, and oversees volunteer fire and rescue companies operating in the County. Working with federal, State and local government agencies, the Department acts to prevent and respond to natural and man-made emergencies.

On recommendation of the Board of County Commissioners, the Governor appoints the Department's Director (Code Public Safety Article, sec. 14-109).

Assisted by the Emergency Services Board, the Department directs four divisions: Animal Control, Emergency Communications, Emergency Management, and Emergency Services.

Formerly under the Emergency Management Division, Animal Control later became a division in its own right.

The Division enforces State and County animal regulations, and responds to calls regarding nuisance wildlife; unlicensed dogs; and injured, stray or unwanted domesticated animals. It also licenses commercial animal establishments, such as kennels and shelters. In addition, the Division issues vaccinations and dog licenses, registers all animal rescue organizations operating in the County, and assists in the operation of the Tri-County Animal Shelter.

To enforce the Code, the County employs Animal Wardens who issue notices of Code violations, impound animals, conduct inspections of commercial establishments, and issue fines for violations of animal ordinances (County Code, secs. 212-1 through 212-18).

Under the Department of Emergency Services, the Emergency Communications Division operates the public safety radio system, and the County’s emergency communication network. This network receives all 911 calls, which the Division then relays to the appropriate responders.

The Emergency Management Division coordinates with federal, State, and local agencies to prepare for and respond to emergencies. Developing emergency guidelines for residents, the Division keeps the public informed regarding emergencies. In preparation for future emergencies, the Agency seeks and distributes grant funds and hires contractors as needed to ensure emergency alert systems and evacuation routes are effective.


For the Southern Region (Calvert, Charles & St. Mary’s counties), the Deputy State Fire Marshal serves as an assistant to the State Fire Marshal, and is responsible for fire safety in the Region. 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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