HAGERSTOWN -- The presence of a new air medical transport company in Hagerstown won't have a major impact on use of Maryland State Police medevac helicopters at accident scenes, according to Dr. Robert Bass, executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS).
There is, however, an operational agreement between emergency services in Maryland and Air Methods Maryland to assist state police medical air transport on 911 calls when needed, Bass said.
Commercial medical aviation companies generally handle calls from hospitals when a patient needs to be transported to another facility, and Maryland State Police helicopters fly on 911 emergency calls, but the roles do intersect.
"In some jurisdictions, that's a rare occurrence. In other jurisdictions, that happens fairly frequently," Bass said.
Sometimes, a commercial helicopter will be more readily accessible or closer than a state police helicopter. Other times, several patients at a scene will be in need of emergency transportation.