Baltimore – Five members of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command were recognized this week for their efforts to promote safety during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic by the State Employees Risk Management Administration (SERMA).
The three troopers and two civilian pilots were honored during SERMA’s two-day virtual conference, which recognized more than a dozen employees from State agencies.
Corporal Kristie Peterson, a nationally-registered paramedic who has been a sworn member of the Maryland State Police for nine years, received the “Unsung Hero Award” for her dedication the Aviation Life Support Equipment program. She ensured every member of the Aviation Command was ready to perform the Agency’s life-saving emergency care, aerial rescues and law enforcement missions, in addition to tackling the demands associated with Covid-19 pandemic.
Pilots Philip Haskins and Keith Blanton, along with Troopers First Class Christopher Aycock and Jaclyn Pickett received the Award of Heroism for their rescue of a critically-injured logger April 2nd, 2020. The helicopter crew, assigned at the Frederick Section _ Trooper 3, responded to a remote area in Fulton County, Pennsylvania just above the Mason-Dixon Line. The crew hoisted the injured logger 216 feet from a densely wooded area in nearly inaccessible terrain. The man, who suffered a catastrophic fracture and a near, full-leg amputation, was flown to a northern Virginia trauma center. The logger survived and was released from hospital a few weeks later with his leg intact.
In addition to recognizing members of the Maryland State Police, SERMA presented five Health & Safety Awards of Excellence, two additional Unsung Hero Awards, one for Award for Individual Achievement to employees from seven State agencies during the 31st annual conference.
Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, celebrated the achievements of the Agency members and other State employees for their commitment to keep the citizens of the State safe. “There are not enough words to express the gratitude I have for each and every essential worker who has gone above and beyond the call of duty during the unprecedented year of service and sacrifice,” Colonel Jones said.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970, and operates a fleet 10 helicopters from seven bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis. Missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS and law enforcement agencies.