Early this morning a Maryland State Police medivac helicopter crashed in route to a hospital carrying a victim of a car crash. The pilot, medic and a Charles County EMT were killed in the crash. The survivor was the victim in the car crash according to published reports. The MSP medivac helicopters are the only public medivacs in the county. The operating fees for the transorts are covered by state taxes and vehicle registration fees. This is the deadliest crash in MSP aviation history and the first accident in 22 years. MSP has had an aviation unit for 47 years.
Twenty two years ago, a helicopter went down i bad weather killing the pilot and the medic. As a result of that crash, changes were made and the helicopters did not transport in bad weather. They also made other changes including improving their fleet.
Trooper 2 which is the helicopter that crashed has been routinely been one of the busiest medivac units in the country over recent years. The entire fleet is currently grounded until the investigation is complete. The state police will rely on helicopters from neighboring states, Delaware and Pennsylvania, as well as US Park Service for medical transports. The Superintendent of the Maryland State Police also said the private medivac services will help fill in the gap. But the private medivac services are located in the heavily populated DC/Baltimore area. For those of us living in what is considered to be the more rural parts of the state, it will be the Park Service filling in.
Sadly, the past few years there has been a member of the state of delegates who has been arguing that the Maryland State Police should not be in the business of EMS. He has been arguing that private services should be doing this job. This particular individual has an interest in a private medivac service. Hopefully, he will not use this crash to further his case. For those who have never been transported by medivac, it will run your insurance company and you around $10,000 for the trip. In Maryland, you never see a bill for the transport by MSP. The MSP aviation division has saved thousands of lives over the years by taking a patient from the scene of an accident to the appropriate shock trauma center or burn unit or specialty hospital with in the golden hour of emergency medicine.
According to Chief Billy Goldfeder, the state legislature is in support of maintaining the MSP aviation division. here are more details on his site.
Because my brother is a Maryland State Trooper, I know more about the benefits of the MSP aviation unit than most. My brother’s job within MSP meant that he received an early morning call after the crash and he was called down to the crash site.