New Medevac Helicopters Accepted at Ceremony

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New Medevac Helicopters Accepted at Ceremony

Baltimore, MD - 10/6/2012

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By Mike Wilson

Maryland Governor O'Malley and the Maryland State Police Aviation Division accepted on Friday the first of ten $12.6 million AugustaWestland AW139 medevac helicopters at the Aviation Division Headquarters at Martin State Airport outside Baltimore.

"Public safety is job one for all of us who have the honor to serve the public," Gov. Martin O'Malley said. He went on to say “The most sacred responsibility any government holds is to protect the lives of its citizens and it is a statewide effort. It involves partnership at every level and no partners are more courageous or more important than our first responders – our firefighters, our paramedics, our local and state police officers. You cannot be expected to do your job alone. You should expect the rest of us to step up and support you with the best equipment, the best technology and the safest equipment that we can possibly obtain. That’s why we have chosen to invest $121 million dollars for ten new state of the art helicopters that will replace our current fleet.”

The helicopter has larger cargo doors, the main landing gear is little over nine feet apart and the helicopter is 5,000 pounds heavier.

According to officials, the “AW139 cabin is 57% larger than the Dauphin helicopters they are replacing.”

The camera/FLIR system provides the crew the capability for heat-sensing, a license tag reader and satellite tracking. The avionics system includes the capability for terrain awareness warning systems, night vision compatibility and advanced instrument flight ratings.

State Police officiasl report the new helicopters won’t go into immediate service, because pilots and paramedics need to undergo extensive training. However, they anticipate the helicopters will be deployed in 2013. Nonetheless, this first helicopter will be based in Western Maryland.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Division ordered the helicopters in 2010 and exercised an option for three more in July 2012. The other organizations that fly the AW139 are U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Los Angeles Fire Department and the New Jersey State Police.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Division AW139 mission will be to provide emergency medical, search and rescue, law enforcement and homeland security missions.


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