State Allocates $33.6M to Buy 3 New MSP Helicopters

ANNAPOLIS (Feb. 1, 2008) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the allocation of $33.6 million to buy three new State Police helicopters. O’Malley was joined by Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, Maryland State Police Col. Terence B. Sheridan, Maryland State Emergency Management personnel and first responders.

This planned acquisitions are part of a multi-year effort to overhaul the State’s fleet, following a study completed by SMART Business Advisory and Consulting, LLC. Released on May 29, 2007, the report was conducted to provide a comprehensive analysis of the current missions of Maryland’s law enforcement helicopter fleet, including the Maryland State Police Aviation Command and the Maryland Natural Resources Aviation Division.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Command is a multi-mission unit, which includes law enforcement, homeland security, search and rescue, and medical evacuation. Since 1970, it has flown over 100,000 MedEvac missions. MedEvac missions make up 75 percent of Maryland State Police flights, while 20 percent makes up law enforcement and five percent makes up search and rescue. Currently, nine of the MSP helicopters are almost 18 years old, two are 13 years old and one is 8 years old.

“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,” Colonel Terrence B. Sheridan said. “They are a welcome sight to people who need help and need it fast. I thank Governor O’Malley and the members of the Legislature for ensuring these lifesaving helicopters will keep flying as part of Maryland’s world-renowned emergency medical services system.”

The Department of Natural Resources’ aviation division provides support for the enforcement of conservation, boating and criminal laws, search and rescue, maritime homeland security, and the protection of Maryland’s natural resources. Both of the Department’s helicopters are over 30 years old.

The “Helicopter Planning Group” was created to analyze and plan for the fleet’s replacement. The group, which is chaired by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), has high level representation from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (GOHS), Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems/Emergency Medical Services Board (MIEMSS/EMS Board), Maryland State Police (MSP) Aviation Command, Department of Natural Resources Police (DNRP) Aviation Division, and the Maryland Military Department (DMIL). Strategic advisors and contractual support for the Team include representatives from the Governors Office, GOHS, MDOT, Department of General Services (DGS), EMS Board, MIEMSS, DNRP, MSP, DMIL, and Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The group also works closely with the EMS Board’s Helicopter Replacement Committee. This committee has representation from other state and local emergency services organizations as well as healthcare organizations.

SMART Business Advisory and Consulting LLC (SMART) was chosen as the Task Order Agreement (TOA) Contractor through a competitive process to assist the planning group with current mission analysis, cost/benefit analysis, and financing options for potential fleet replacement.

Source: Governor Martin O’Malley's Office

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