Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Police Helicopters Debut in Frederick, Maryland (With Video)

FREDERICK, MD - The Maryland State Police Aviation Command is getting ready to take their newest members of their aviation force to the sky. They will debut in Frederick and are larger then the old aircrafts and have more capabilities.

"Now we're seeing images from miles away that we were never able to see before, and with the light we have attached to the camera the way they work in concert together, we'll be able to highlight our targets without them even knowing were watching them," says Sr. Trooper Paramedic Lance Shank.

The new helicopters cost nearly $11 million a piece and are replacing the old ones that have about 25 years on them. That means lots of technology upgrades, including three cameras under the chopper's noses.

"We have a camera under the nose that does infrared imaging, also a daytime color camera and night time low light color camera," says Instructor Pilot Marcus Alberghini.

Officials say they'll now be able to respond to calls faster and more efficiently. The larger aircraft allows crews to have two flight paramedics and easily fit two patients inside if needed.

Troopers say it takes only 15 seconds to hoist up a patient on the new helicopter, versus the old one when it took over a minute.

"There's a lot of anxiety to deal with when you see them coming up, you can see it right in their eyes. It's important for us to get the victim up and into the aircraft, as well as for the safety of the flight crew. When were in a hover and have the victims dangling from the helicopter that puts us at risk," says Lt. Walter Kerr, commander of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command.

Troopers say aviation command responds mostly to patient transports, which are free, as well as assist with law enforcement and search and rescue missions.

The new helicopters are expected to start responding to calls by next week.

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