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Officials introduce new state police helicopter

MIDDLE RIVER — The Maryland State Police have a new helicopter.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and Col. Marcus Brown joined officials from AgustaWestland on Friday in Middle River to mark the step toward replacing Maryland’s aging medevac feet.

Maryland has a $121.7 million contract with AgustaWestland for 10 helicopters.

They will have the latest in avionics and safety equipment, including terrain awareness warning systems, night vision and other capabilities recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration.

They will have more space in the patient and cargo areas. That will enable flight paramedics to have better access to patients and carry rescue equipment.

The new helicopters won’t go into immediate service, because pilots and paramedics need to undergo extensive training. State police anticipate they will be deployed in early 2013.

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