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Annapolis, Maryland (October 24, 2014) - The Anne Arundel County Minority Business Enterprise Committee, under the Office of Central Services, is partnering with the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce to host a Partners in Diversity business mixer from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12, at The Prime Rib restaurant at Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover.


The mixer will provide opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses to meet new MBE Committee members, the new Diversity Officer at Anne Arundel Community College, members of WAACCC’s new Diversity Committee, county staff, elected officials and others. Additionally, it will help local firms establish “peer” contacts with other businesses in the region and enable women business owners to learn more about the Women President’s Educational Organization (WPEO).


The Partners in Diversity business mixer will kick off the chamber’s new partnership with the county’s MBE Committee. “The MBE Committee has a long history of promoting the interests of Anne Arundel County minority- and women-owned businesses. In addition to pressing for more county contract opportunities, we have helped firms get contracts with private-sector firms. Just knowing that we are here as advocates for these firms changes the way public and private agencies view our constituents,” said William Bush, MBE Committee Chairman.


The Office of Central Services has recently signed on as a corporate/community partner with the Women President’s Educational Organization (WPEO), an affiliate of the Women Business Enterprise National Council, which is a nationally recognized certification agency. WPEO Executive Director Sandra Eberhard will be available to discuss benefits of WPEO membership at the mixer.


There is no cost to attend. For more information, contact Joanne Jackson, Office of Central Services, at or 410-222-7620.


County and City health and public safety agencies, health care providers collaborate to ensure preparedness

Annapolis, Maryland (October 23, 2014) — As the Ebola virus disease outbreak continues in West Africa, Anne Arundel County and Annapolis City health and public safety agencies and hospitals are collaborating to reinforce existing plans and procedures to assess, investigate and manage any suspected or confirmed cases and their contacts. There are no cases of Ebola virus in Anne Arundel County and the risk of Ebola to county residents is low.


“Constant communication and collaboration between our county agencies and community partners are vital to ensuring the health and safety of our citizens,” said County Executive Laura Neuman. “Anne Arundel County has taken steps, including reviewing emergency public health plans, enhancing 911 screening, and augmenting communication protocols to be ready for any suspected cases in the county."


"I am glad to see the Health Department's proactive approach to deal with any possible implications related to the Ebola virus," Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides said.  "The Annapolis Office of Emergency Management is in constant contact with the Health Department and I am confident we are being advised on all updates regarding the virus and its potential to threaten our residents."


The county departments of Health and Emergency Medical Services and local health care providers are continually receiving updates about the situation as well as guidance on prevention and infection control measures from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The County Department of Health will assist with active post-arrival monitoring of travelers in Anne Arundel County whose travel originated in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. The Department also collaborates with County and City of Annapolis agencies and Anne Arundel County Public Schools to provide health information and recommendations.


“The situation with Ebola disease is continually evolving, and our staff are staying abreast of developments and updates as they occur,” said acting Anne Arundel County Health Officer Jinlene Chan, M.D., M.P.H. “Our public health workers regularly conduct extensive investigations of reportable diseases to not only determine potential contacts of an infected person and the degree of contact, but also to provide appropriate treatment and prevention guidance.”


Fire Department personnel are also taking additional measures including participating in daily department-wide video briefings, updating existing infection control procedures and the department’s Incident Action Plan, and completing patient assessments that include questions about out-of-country travel for patients presenting with fever. "The Fire Department is in frequent contact with the county Health Department and our allied health partners. Our medical first responders are briefed daily with any changes in guidance for patient care, precautions and any new information," Fire Chief Michael E. Cox, Jr. stated.


Ebola virus disease is transmitted by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from a person who is sick with Ebola, objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus, or infected animals. Ebola is not transmitted through air, water or food (except native bush meat). Symptoms may include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising.


Any person suspected of having Ebola who arrives at a hospital or other health care facility in Anne Arundel County must be reported immediately to the Department of Health at 410-222-7256. Staff is available 24/7 to provide guidance to health care providers, help track cases and coordinate further management with the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Department of Health urges county and City of Annapolis hospitals, physician offices, urgent care clinics, retail pharmacy clinics and other health care providers to be vigilant about asking for travel history from patients who present to them for care.


More information about Ebola disease symptoms and prevention is available at under Hot Topics. 




Media Contact: Elin Jones

Public Information Officer, Anne Arundel County Department of Health




Annapolis, MD (October 20, 2014) – County Executive Laura Neuman today hosted a press conference to stress the important role cultural sensitivity plays in the diverse workforce that composes Anne Arundel County government. Spurred by a recent isolated incidence of racial and cultural insensitivity – in which three employees were disciplined for fashioning and displaying a noose and exchanging inappropriate jokes – the event highlighted efforts present and future by county government to develop a more culturally sensitive workforce.

“Our employees are our greatest asset, and it’s critical that we facilitate a diverse work environment in which everyone is given equal opportunity,” said County Executive Neuman. “Understanding the sensitivity of racial and cultural differences is the first step in preventing discrimination and harassment. This administration recognized early on the need for Diversity Training and for the creation of a compliance officer position, and this incident reinforces both.”

At the administration’s directive, the county’s Office of Minority Affairs has to date hosted 30 Diversity Training sessions for over 360 supervisors, managers and assistants across nine departments to help county employees develop the cultural competence needed to support workplace diversity. Most recently, Minority Affairs also hosted a session for employees in the department in which the incidence of insensitivity occurred.

In the interest of improving how incidences of cultural insensitivity are handled, the administration began discussion over a year ago regarding the establishment of a compliance officer position. A resolution urging the next administration to create this position will be heard by the County Council tonight. If established, the compliance officer would be responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with federal, state and local laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment in county government.

“As with any continually progressing issue like cultural sensitivity, there will always be room for growth in any and every organization,” County Executive Neuman said. “Anne Arundel County is not far off from where it should be, but we can do better.”


Annapolis, Maryland (October 14, 2014) - The Anne Arundel County Fire Department today reported it has witnessed a 27 percent decrease in average paramedic response times over the last 12 months due to improvements in Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance service. Additionally, the department has seen a 21 percent decrease of 90th-percentile response times for the arrival of paramedic level care to incident scenes.


“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the most critical service the county provides to our citizens – public safety – and I am so proud of our Fire Department for implementing best practices that better enable it to save lives quickly,” said County Executive Laura Neuman. “I am especially proud of Fire Chief Michael Cox, who brought about these improvements in part by deferring the purchase of a tower ladder truck to reallocate the funding for six new ambulances.”


Because medical emergencies account for 85 percent of the calls to which the department responds, the six Basic Life Support units were purchased to meet the county’s growing need for ambulance service.


“The initiative to provide additional Basic Life Support units for BLS calls has significantly increased Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit availability for more serious and life-threatening calls,” said Fire Chief Michael Cox.  “The increased number of BLS units allows our paramedic units to remain available in their primary response areas for life-threatening and critical calls.”


An additional five Basic Life Support units are slated to be placed in service this fall. “Once these units are in service, we should meet the National Fire Protection Association guidelines for ALS response time for the first time in the department’s 50-year history,” Chief Cox highlighted.


A citizen report of ALS response times using data from the fourth quarter of 2010 showed that the average ALS response time in Anne Arundel County was 7.75 minutes.  The average response time for an ALS unit in the first three-quarters of 2014 decreased more than two minutes to 5.67 minutes, a 27 percent improvement.


National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 1710 recommends an eight-minute 90th-percentile response time for ALS units. In the 2010 report, the county’s 90th-percentile response time was 12.52 minutes.  In the first three-quarters of 2014, that time has dropped 21 percent to 9.85 minutes, a nearly three-minute improvement.


The response time improvements, paired with the implementation of the Rapid Dispatch Protocol that substantially reduced 911 call processing time, have decreased the time from 911 call to ALS unit arrival time by almost three minutes over the last 14 months.


Media Contact: Lieutenant Russ Davies
                          410-222-8305 (Office)
                          410-222-8746 (PIO Line)

Joined by County Executive Laura Neuman, United States Senator Barbara Mikulski today formally announced the awarding of nearly $3 million in federal grant money to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department during a press conference at Marley Fire Station in Glen Burnie. The Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program award will be used to purchase Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and face masks for career and volunteer firefighters.
“Anne Arundel County is pleased to receive this generous grant to purchase vital life-saving equipment to replace our outdated apparatus. Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day to keep our citizens safe, and they deserve the best equipment available to keep themselves safe while protecting our communities,” said County Executive Neuman. “I would like to thank Senators Mikulski and Cardin for fighting to secure this critical federal funding for our first responders and our county.”
The fire department’s current SCBA purchased in 2003 was built to the 2002 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard. While the breathing apparatus are still serviceable, they are not compliant with two newer versions of the NFPA standards and are over 10 years old, ranking them as obsolete. More critically, they do not afford personnel the most technologically advanced level of protection available.
The grant will allow the Fire Department to purchase 531 sets of SCBA, which is a complete replacement of all breathing apparatus used by career and volunteer firefighters. It also provides funding for the purchase of 1,300 face masks, allowing the continuation of the personal face mask program that provides one for each response-certified career and volunteer member of the department.
“Our current SCBA is nearing the end of its useful life and is outdated by two sets of NFPA standards. This grant will allow us to replace this vital equipment at a significant cost savings to county taxpayers, and will help firefighters safely protect our citizens well into the future,” said Fire Chief Michael E. Cox, Jr., who noted that Anne Arundel County’s portion of the purchase cost will be approximately $400,000.
The new SCBA will be built to the NFPA 2013 standard, which includes enhanced safety features over the current SCBA. The new breathing apparatus will provide for a higher level of protection through improved lens durability (the weakest part of the respiratory protection system), improved speech communication and an improved emergency breathing supply system. Additionally, the new breathing apparatus will provide for improvements in the integrated Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) by enhancing the device's sound patterns.

Media Contact:
Lieutenant Russ Davies
410-222-8305 (Office)
410-222-8746 (PIO Line)


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