After a solid first season in 2011, the Maryland State Police (MSP) will continue the forward deployment of a medevac helicopter in Ocean City this summer to be used in partnership with the Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP). This year, however, the helicopter will be stationed even closer to the action for faster responses.
“It’s actually at the Coast Guard station,” said OCBP Captain Butch Arbin. “We can be deployed many minutes faster.”
During the forward deployment program’s initial run last year, a
medevac chopper was housed at the Ocean City airport weekends during the
summer. This allowed MSP Aviation to work closely with OCBP rescue
swimmers and respond much faster than possible when the choppers are at
their typical Salisbury base. This year, that response time was further
reduced when MSP decided to base at the coast guard station
Sundays, and Mondays this summer.
Arbin also pointed out that keeping a helicopter in Ocean City can be even more important in the case of storms.