Maryland Upgrading State Police Copter Fleet
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recently announced a multi-year effort to improve public safety and emergency response in his state, starting it with $33.6 million to buy three new State Police helicopters. The Maryland State Police Aviation Command is a multi-mission unit that includes law enforcement, homeland security, search and rescue, and medical evacuations. Currently, nine of its helicopters are almost 18 years old, two are 13 years old, and one is eight years old.
Since 1970, the command has flown more than 100,000 MedEvac missions, which represent 75 percent of Maryland State Police flights; 20 percent are for law enforcement and 5 percent for search and rescue. "Public safety is the most important priority of any government," O'Malley said. "I am proud to announce the commitment to upgrade our aging State Police helicopter fleet. Supporting our first responders in the work they do is an important part of fulfilling the most fundamental responsibility that we have to our state: to safeguard the lives of our citizens and to ensure the safety of our neighborhoods and our communities."
"As a member of the board for University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center, I am keenly aware of the important role that the MedEvac helicopters play in saving lives all across the state," said Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith. "The addition of three new helicopters to the state's fleet is another example of Governor O'Malley's commitment to public safety." The fleet improvement campaign follows a study that was completed by SMART Business Advisory and Consulting, LLC and released last May.