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Firefighters Rally in Annapolis

Rosalind Helderman

Dozens of uniformed firefigthers and paramedics descended on Annapolis yesterday to oppose legislation proposed by senator that could result in privatization of the state's Maryland State Police helicopter medevac problem.

The bills were prompted by the September crash of Trooper 2 as it was flying two teenaged car accident victims to Prince George's Hospital Center. One of the patients and three medics were killed. The Senate bill would require a total overhaul of the system, including possibly privatizing the medical flights now flown by state police and leaving the police to handle homeland security aviation. Maryland has the nation's only publicly run air ambulance system.

Firefighters held signs that said "Save the Best," and a firetruck parked nearby sported a banner urging the defeat of two related Senate measures.

The mother of paramedic Mickey Lippy, killed in the crash, told the crowd that she supports some changes to the system--flying with two pilots on each flight and purchasing new and approved helicopters. But Wilma Lippy said her son loved the Maryland State Police aviation command and that her family opposes wholesale changes to a system "already the best in the world."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  March 4, 2009; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , Rosalind Helderman  
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