Mon, Feb 04, 2008
Will Take Delivery Of Three New Helicopters This Year
Standing before one of the University of Maryland Shock Trauma
Center's current Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin helicopters, last week
Governor Martin O'Malley announced his state will purchase three
new medevac helicopters this year to bolster the center's emergency
"This life-saving equipment will carry thousands of our
neighbors who have been badly injured to trauma centers across the
state, enhancing the capabilities of our emergency-response teams,"
O'Malley said at a Friday press conference at Martin State
That announcement came as good news to hospital officials,
reports The Baltimore Sun... as funding for the new helicopters has
been in doubt since November, when lawmakers recommended postponing
the purchase as the state deals with a $1.7 billion budget
Legislators eventually agreed to a special $110 million infusion
to the State Helicopter Replacement Fund, taken from revenue
collected through a sales tax increase. The three helicopters due
this year will cost $33.6 million.
According to the Sun, nine of the state's 12 medevac helos are
nearly 18 years old, while the youngest is eight years old. On
average, the state's fleet of emergency response helicopters have
flown about 5,000 missions per year, since 1970.
"For 38 years, State Police helicopters have provided a vital
public safety service to our citizens and in support of all
Maryland police departments and EMS providers," said Maryland State
Police Superintendent Terrence B. Sheridan. "They are a welcome
sight to people who need help and need it fast."
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