The Massachusetts State Police Air Wing is a critically-important public safety resource for numerous reasons, including the unit's capabilities in search missions. That capability was evident once again last night.
While on patrol Thursday evening, the crew of Air 5, one of the Air Wing's helicopters, received a Be On the LookOut (BOLO) alert from State Police Troop A Headquarters regarding a missing elderly woman. The woman, who is living with dementia, went missing in Burlington and was reported to possibly be driving a red Toyota.
Air 5 began searching the area and quickly located a vehicle stopped in the breakdown lane of Route 3 southbound in Burlington. Using the helicopter's FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) and color cameras, the crew -- Sergeant Kristopher Malm and Troopers Kenneth Dinjian and Brendan Crowther -- confirmed the vehicle was a red Toyota and directed patrols the State Police-Concord Barracks and Burlington Fire and EMS to the location. A responding patrol Trooper confirmed that the missing woman was in the stopped vehicle. The woman was transported to an area hospital.
We are grateful that we were able to locate the missing woman and ensure she received medical help.
The MSP Air Wing operates several helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft out of our air bases in Lawrence, Plymouth, and the Westover airfield in Chicopee. The unit fulfills patrol, search, investigative, overwatch, and wildfire suppression missions for MSP units, local police and fire departments, and other agencies.