DELAWARE STATE POLICE AVIATION UNIT
Captain Ronald W. Hagan
2011, marks the 41st year of the Aviation Section and the 26th year of our Trooper-Medic Program.
The Section consists of 25 pilots and Medics providing 24 hour coverage from two locations (Georgetown and Middletown). Annually, the Section averages approximately 2,000 missions, transports approximately 300 trauma patients, and flies almost 1,500 hours. The aircraft currently utilized include four helicopters and one airplane: two 1999 Bell 407’s, one 2004 Bell 407, one 2007 Bell 412 and one 1980 fixed wing Cessna 182.
The Aviation Section’s primary mission is to provide rapid transport of critically sick or injured persons to medical facilities and to support law enforcement ground personnel in the apprehension of criminal suspects. The Section also conducts search and rescue operations, airborne security for visiting dignitaries, homeland security operations, photographic missions, narcotics interdiction, pursuit support and maritime security to name a few of the many missions.
Along with celebrating 41 years of success, in 2011 Cpl/1 Nicole C. Parton and Cpl/1 Shawn M. Wright both completed all their required internal and external flight training and were released to Pilot in Command status and assigned shifts.
The Aviation Section also is working toward the addition of four new Trooper Medics. Cpl/3 Ed Sebastianelli, Cpl/2 Sean McDerby, Cpl/1 Steve Fausey and Cpl. Jennifer Potocki were all assigned to the Section in March and began their paramedic training at Delaware Technical and Community College. It is expected they will join the ranks of their colleagues after completing the training sometime in the early fall of 2012.
Master Corporal Scott Valeski retired from the Division after 29 years of services, 5 of which were as a Trooper Medic and 20 as a pilot. Scott’s unique personality and dedication will be greatly missed. Following Scott’s retirement, Cpl/1 Steve Rindone was selected as a new pilot and assigned to the Section. Steve was already an experienced helicopter pilot and is working on completing his internal and factory training. As part of this same selection process for new pilots, two additional Troopers were selected to begin initial flight training as part of a plan to reduce training time and prepare the Section for future pilot vacancies. The Troopers selected were Cpl. Brett Creasy and Cpl. Kevin Crossland, both will receive their initial helicopter training in 2012 and then continue with recurrent training on a monthly basis but remaining at their current duty assignment until the next vacancies.
Delaware Air Rescue Team
2011 was the year for the first true activation and rescue for the team using the Bell 412 and the Hoist. On Tuesday May 3rd the Captain of Greek Tanker Cosmic contacted 911 (Sussex County EOC) and reported he had a crew member who had fallen approximately 20 feet and struck his head. The ship was located 5 miles off Slaughter Beach. Sussex EOC dispatched Slaughter Beach Fire Dept. and Sussex County Paramedics. Once on scene the Fire Chief requested the Delaware Air Rescue Team (DART) and DSP Aviation. Trooper 4 Heavy (Bell 412 with hoist) and Trooper 2 (Bell 407) were dispatched. DART Personnel arrived at the staging area and met with the crew of Trooper 4. Sussex County Paramedics were transported to the ship by boat and were onboard treating the patient when Trooper 4 arrived with the DART team. A DART member was lowered to the Cosmic where he assisted the paramedics with packaging the victim and was then hoisted back into the aircraft with the patient. The patient was flown to the Slaughter Beach boat ramp, further stabilized and then flown to Christiana Hospital. It should be noted that the boat trip from Slaughter Beach to the ship took almost 25 minutes and to have attempted to transport the victim back to shore in the same manner would have been extremely difficult if not impossible.
DSP/WPD Tactical EMS Missions 2011
Since the inception of the Joint tactical paramedic program between DSP and WPD, which began in April of 2008, 2011 was the busiest year to date. There were a total of 210 activations, one activation every 1.74 days. The previous record was in 2009 with 203 total activations. The tactical medic’s busiest single month was September of this year with a total of 35 activations in 30 days. In addition to being the busiest year overall, 2011 was by far the most violent year for the special operations teams as a whole when comparing the types of activations and outcomes.
2010 AED Deployments
Delaware State Police Aviation Section oversees the divisions AED program. In 2011 Troopers deployed their Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on 12 occasions, which met the criteria for download (pads-on-patient). The following is a summary of the utilizations:
• 9 utilizations where the AED analyzed followed by a "No Shock Advised" prompt. The patient was subsequently pronounced deceased.
• 1 utilization where the AED analyzed followed by a "NO shock advised" prompt. Patient care was subsequently taken over by the paramedics. Upon arrival at the hospital the patient had a pulse.
• 1 utilization where the trooper administered 2 shocks followed by CPR. The patient was subsequently transported to the hospital where they were pronounced deceased.
• 1 utilization where the trooper administered 3 shock followed by the patient having a spontaneous return of circulation (ROC). The patient arrived at the hospital alive.
Infectious Disease Exposures
For the 2011 calendar year the Delaware State Police had a total of 10 confirmed infectious disease exposures. In addition, there were a total of 10 cases that did not meet the exposure criteria; however, these incidences were documented and placed in a file.
Of significant Importance: There were two separate incidents this year involving exposure to scabies. In addition to receiving medical evaluation and treatment for those troopers who were exposed, both incidents required extensive decontamination of the state police facilities to include vehicles.
As always, in addition to the new and exciting programs that happened in 2011, the Section continued to provide emergency helicopter service for law enforcement, EMS and search and rescue. In performing the multi-mission role the Section flew 2,134 missions in 1,146 flight hours. 715 of those missions were emergency medical missions which continue to be the largest mission category.
- Information obtained from 2011 DSP Annual Report -