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The Baltimore Sun

Maryland medevac boasts record of safety

The Baltimore Sun's article "Unnecessary flight risks?" (Oct. 23), which reviewed the circumstances of a number of recent fatal medical air transport crashes, is an unfair attempt to establish guilt by association.

The accusatory headline is superimposed over a photo of a Maryland State Police helicopter, despite the fact that the article is primarily about incidents that occurred outside Maryland and involved private and often for-profit medical air transports.

What Maryland's medevac system shares with medical transport systems in other states is that they all fly helicopters. Beyond that commonality, the differences are far greater than the similarities.

Maryland's trauma response system is the only one in the nation operated by a government agency exclusively.

In every other state, air transport providers driven by the need to generate revenue in order to stay in business control all or nearly all emergency medical transports. This is not the case with Maryland State Police Aviation Command.

Fortunately, all segments of trauma care in Maryland - from EMS to transport to medical care - are focused wholly on the patient, not on revenue generation.

The recent crash of a Maryland medevac helicopter is a tragedy, but it is also an anomaly. Maryland's system has had a sterling record of safety, flying more than 100,000 missions from 1986 without a serious injury or fatality.

The safety record of private transports can't compare, a fact The Baltimore Sun's article regrettably failed to report.

John H. Spearman, Baltimore

The writer is vice president of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Republican campaign uses scare tactics

The Republican Party should consider renaming itself the "Halloween Party" ("McCain scrambles as numbers slip," Oct. 27).

It never seems to tire of trying to scare Americans about abortion, voter fraud, socialism, gay marriage, testing of a new president, higher taxes, one-party control of the federal government, palling around with terrorists, associations with radical pastors and various assorted other dangers too numerous to mention.

I am sick to death of these juvenile tactics, which are offered as if they were somehow a substitute for reasoning and persuasive arguments as to why one should vote Republican.

Ronald Dobrydnio, Glen Burnie

Sculptor has completed figural commissions

The letter regarding sculptor Rodney Carroll's credentials to create a statue of William Donald Schaefer at the Inner Harbor requires correction or at least amplification ("The wrong sculptor for Schaefer statue?" Oct. 27).

The writer apparently does not know that in addition to his abstract work, Mr. Carroll has a distinguished portfolio of figurative sculpture.

Examples would include a number of private commissions, plus the Maryland Fallen Firefighters Memorial in front of the Treasury Building in Annapolis and the sculpture at the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School at the Patuxent Naval Air Station - pieces that were chosen in national and international competitions.

Martin L. Millspaugh, Baltimore

Let all bears live free of fear of hunt

Although Candus Thomson is an advocate of the current Maryland black bear hunt, she apparently has a "soft spot" for a baby bear she held back in 2006 while a microchip was inserted in the bear ("Emotions bruin: a soft spot for one bear," Oct. 21). She fervently hopes it will survive the current hunt.

Personally, I would be thrilled to hold a baby bear. However, I don't need to do that to get an appreciation for wildlife and wish that all animals could live out their normal life without the fear of being killed for the thrill of the hunt.

I believe that sometime in the future, mankind will recognize there are effective, humane ways of co-existing with wildlife and resolving issues that may arise.

Perhaps in the meantime, if we could expand the baby bear microchip program and recruit Ms. Thomson to hold all the baby bears, she might become an advocate for coexisting with bears instead of favoring the current senseless, cruel hunt.

Marvin Tenberg, Cockeysville

The writer is vice president of Animal Action Inc.

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