ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan and Maryland State Police (MSP) Superintendent Colonel Woodrow Jones III today announced that all Maryland State Police Aviation Command (MSPAC) bases will remain open.
In July, due to the anticipated fiscal challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Public Works approved budget reductions associated with closing one MSPAC base. Last month, the governor stated that the cuts should not go forward, and has directed MSP to work with state budget officials to ensure the necessary funding is available to ensure all bases are fully operational.
“For more than half a century, the Maryland State Police Aviation Command has been conducting lifesaving medevac flights,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration is committed to making sure Maryland’s Finest have all the resources they need to continue their excellent service to the state and the region.”
According to an independent study of MSPAC’s basing structure, the strategic locations of the seven bases and the integrated emergency medical system within which the helicopters operate result in an outstanding response rate of at least 95 percent and an ability to be on-scene within 25 minutes. The elimination of one helicopter base would significantly and negatively affect both the response rate and the response time. Analysts estimated that closing one base would decrease the response rate to less than 83 percent and increase response time by eight minutes.
“Based on the governor’s commitment to do all we can to provide the best in public safety services, the Maryland State Police will keep all bases open and all helicopters in the current fleet,” said Colonel Jones. “We look forward to continuing our work in partnership with Maryland’s first responders and hospital providers.”
MSPAC has been conducting medevacs for more than 50 years and has flown more than 150,000 patients to lifesaving trauma care. It is a proud partner in Maryland’s world-renowned integrated emergency medical services system.