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New MSP Helicopter At Cumberland Airport

October 16th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

(CUMBERLAND, MD) — Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown was joined by Senator George Edwards, another legislator, Ms. Patricia Gainer, Co-Executive Director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System, and other state officials, Aviation Command members, and emergency services personnel today to officially mark the commencement of full-service mission operation of the new AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopter at the Cumberland Section.  

The pilots and flight paramedics who staff “Trooper 5” are now fully trained on the new aircraft.  They are flying the new helicopter around the clock on all Aviation Command missions assigned to the Cumberland Section, which is located at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport.

“What we’re talking about today is our ongoing fulfillment of a promise made to the people of Maryland to continue improving public safety even in the face of some pretty tough economic times,” Governor Martin O’Malley said.  “We will continue to make the critical investments necessary to give Maryland’s world renowned, integrated, emergency medical services system the equipment they need to do their jobs and the latest in aviation technology and safety to help save more lives.”

“This new helicopter and the others being deployed represent an incredible improvement to public safety capabilities in Maryland,” Colonel Marcus Brown said. “The new aircraft provides a safer aircraft for our crews, with more room and equipment for our flight paramedics to care for the injured.  I thank Governor O’Malley who, with the support of the General Assembly, fulfilled his promise to the State Police, our public safety partners, and to the people of Maryland.  These new aircraft will be put to good use and will, along with our EMS partners, continue the amazing lifesaving response and care Maryland is known for.”   

“For over four decades the crews of the Maryland State Police helicopters have saved countless lives by rescuing, providing care, and transporting those in medical need,” said Ms. Patricia Gainer, MIEMSS Co-Executive Director.  “Today, we celebrate the deployment of a new aircraft in Western Maryland that will enable the members of the Aviation Command to continue to serve the citizens of this area in a safer, more effective way.”    

“A transition of this magnitude would have never been possible without the hard work, commitment and dedication of our training staff and crew members at the Cumberland Section,” said Major Frank Lioi, Commander of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command.  “This transition is unlike any in the history of our program. We are not only transitioning to a new helicopter, but we are expanding from a two member crew to a four member crew to better serve the citizens of Maryland.  The new AW 139 helicopters provide a state-of-the-art aircraft, employing the latest technologies to keep our crew members and patients as safe as possible, while our personnel perform their medevac, law enforcement, search and rescue, and homeland security missions.”

The new helicopters contain the latest in avionics and safety equipment, including terrain awareness warning systems, night vision compatibility, cockpit voice and video recorders, radar altimeters, and advanced instrument flight rating capabilities, all recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration.  The new helicopters provide more space in the patient and cargo areas, enabling flight paramedics to have better access to patients and to carry rescue equipment on board all the time.  
The new aircraft also have satellite tracking and downlink video capabilities, as well as interoperable communication.  

The twin engines on the helicopters are more powerful than those on the existing aircraft.  This is important, especially during a hoist rescue operation.  The new aircraft will enable the crew to fly the aircraft away if an engine fails during a hoist operation.  Currently, the aircraft will stay aloft if an engine fails, but the hoist rescue must be terminated before the aircraft can leave the scene.   According to AgustaWestland, the new helicopter is the fastest in its class, has the largest cabin space of any helicopter in the same weight class, and is the only helicopter in its class that meets or exceeds all the latest civil certification safety requirements.  

Due to the significant advancement in technology on the new helicopters, State Police helicopter pilots and flight paramedics are undergoing extensive training on the new aircraft.  In addition to pilots learning the new aircraft requirements, the flight paramedics must also become familiar with the new medical equipment and configurations in the aircraft.

Training is being conducted systematically at each individual Aviation Command section.  As of today, crews have been fully trained and new helicopters deployed at the Frederick, Easton, Salisbury, Southern Maryland, Washington, and Cumberland sections.  

Training is now being conducted with the crews of Trooper 1 at the Baltimore Section.  The training of the Baltimore Section will complete the Maryland State Police transition to the new helicopter fleet in just eighteen months and well ahead of schedule.  

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