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MEMA Earns International Pandemic-Related Award 

IAEM Honors State for Development of Burn Rate Calculator for Pandemic Supplies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (August 13, 2021) — The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) recently awarded the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) a global technology award for the agency’s innovative approach to resource management during the COVID-19 Pandemic. When availability and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) became an important consideration in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland officials needed a way to find out how quickly the material was being used — also known as the burn rate.

The situation was unfolding rapidly and the State needed an accurate way to predict PPE burn rates according to case rate to determine how long the current supply would last, and a prediction on what would be needed. Federal officials also sought a reliable way to calculate the use of PPE in each state to develop an equitable distribution system for new supplies.

“Once again, our team at MEMA thought outside the box to come up with a quick solution to an urgent issue that cropped up in the early months of the pandemic,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “I could not be more proud of our people for their creative thinking and agility, all while dealing with the most serious public health emergency we have faced.”

MEMA led a team of officials charged with implementing a burn rate modeling system to predict the state’s future PPE needs. This effort involved collaboration with hospital coalitions, universities, the private sector, and emergency managers. The process used composite modeling to produce a mean burn rate to project potential PPE needs.

Local-level sampling from end users on the front lines provided daily snapshots of actual use. Using that local sampling and extrapolating it across the state meant burn rate projections could be compared to the real-world snapshots. Using that method, MEMA created a tool to support several critical planning factors. You can see the Burn Rate Calculator manual at https://mema.maryland.gov/Documents/MEMA_COVID-19-Burn-Rate-Projection-Tool-Report.pdf

MEMA will accept this award later this year as part of the IAEM Annual Conference.

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CONTACT:
Jorge Castillo, jorge.castillo@maryland.gov, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough, ed.mcdonough@maryland.gov, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872


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