(CUMBERLAND, MD) – Although Maryland State Police Aviation Command flight paramedics usually help save lives while airborne, they are just as quick to respond on the ground when their help is needed, as it was last night by a child not far from the Cumberland Section hangar of Trooper 5.
It was about 7:00 p.m., when the 12-hour shift for one helicopter crew was ending and the one for the next crew was beginning. Flight paramedic Sergeant Alex Kelly was walking from the Trooper 5 hangar when he heard a medical call for an unconscious two-year-old with difficulty breathing, in Mineral County, West Virginia. The location was less than a mile from the helicopter hangar.
The call sounded serious, so Sgt. Kelly alerted Trooper First Class Rick DeVore and Trooper First Class Chris Michael, the flight paramedics who relieved him. They quickly gathered their critical intervention medical equipment, jumped into a patrol car, and headed down the hill from the hangar.
When they arrived, emergency medical technicians from the Wiley Ford Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene. The State Police flight paramedics were able to immediately begin advanced life support care for the child. They could tell he was seriously ill and time was of the essence, so the flight paramedics transported the child to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, less than ten minutes away, while continuing to provide advanced life support care.
Sgt. Kelly checked with the hospital late last night and learned the child was responding well to treatment and was expected to make a full recovery. “While we are known for our aerial trauma care, it is nice to be able to use our expanded crew compliment and medical training to be able to help a child in a dire medical situation,” Sgt. Kelly said. “Due to our routine work as teams and training in our continuing education, the three of us each set about to a different aspect of the child’s care, all working toward a common goal of saving a life.”
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command flight paramedics are back on duty today, ready for the next call for lifesaving care, regardless of whether it is in the air, or on the ground.