Tag: Helicopter Rescue
Started as a philanthropic project by venture capitalist Michael Goguen and an innovative group of pilots, Two Bear Air Rescue is a unique air support service bridging the gap between local law enforcement and helicopter air ambulance (HAA) operators. Covering an area larger than 120,000 square miles, their operations provide a critical lifeline to the millions of tourists who visit the breathtaking outdoor scenery from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park. Primarily performing search and rescue (SAR), they are an invaluable asset to local law enforcement.
On the north end of Glacier Park International Airport, sits an unassuming hangar with an American flag flying out front. Inside lies the operations hub for Two Bear Air Rescue. The team is quite small for the impact that they have in the region. Consisting of a dispatcher, director of maintenance, three pilots, two full-time rescue specialists, and nine volunteer rescuers, they are all united by a common goal: saving lives. “As Mike would say, if we can save one life, then all of this is worth it,” says Flathead County Sheriff and Rescue Specialist Brian Heino. That attitude shows in the mindset of every team member. [Read More...]
Bell 429 Rescue Helicopter
Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
helicopter search and rescue
L3 WESCAM MX-10 camera
Recco locator devices
Two Bear Air Rescue
While the Southeastern U.S. was being inundated with record hurricane floodwaters during the fall of 2017, record-breaking wildfires were torching California’s Wine Country.
More than one million acres burned this year in California. The “October Fire Siege” fanned by Diablo Winds in Northern California constituted the deadliest series of wildfires in the state’s history, killing 43 people. The infernos torched at least 8,900 structures and 245,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people. As many as 11,000 firefighters were battling 21 major blazes in an area nearly one-third the size of Rhode Island. Insured property damage totaled more than $3 billion, making them the costliest complex of wildfires in U.S. history.
“I’ve never seen the utter devastation and destruction I saw around Santa Rosa and Napa,” said Barry Lloyd, helicopter program manager for Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection). “It was absolutely stunning.” This is coming from someone who has been a helicopter pilot for 52 years and fighting fire for 44 years. He flies one of Cal Fire’s 12 Type II Hueys. [Read More...]
Best of Helicopter Industry
In late August, the Rotorcraft Pro team was diligently working on the feature articles for this issue you are reading. Though every story involved helicopters, none had anything to do with hurricanes. Then storm history occurred on what seemed like a Biblical scale. I watched in shock from the safety of my Florida office the heart-breaking images coming out of the Houston, Texas, region in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Upon dumping a record 51 inches of rain on the area, massive flooding left tens of thousands of citizens trapped and in need of rescue. [Read More...]
Helicopter Hurricane Rescues
Hurricane Recovery Helicopter
Considering the complexities of the air medical industry, completely removing all risk is a challenge. The road to progress, if not traveled in a deliberate manner, could lead to bad outcomes—this industry has seen far too many outcomes of that type.
Although many factors can lead to bad outcomes in HAA, some unfortunate events can be attributed to the very thing that gives our industry its name—helicopters. They are labor-intensive machines that have regularly scheduled maintenance. However, from time to time well-maintained helicopters simply break. Pilots spend most of their time in one primary aircraft. When maintenance issues dictate, they swap to their backup aircraft. Herein lies the problem. [Read More...]
Helicopter air ambulance
helicopter backup aircraft
helicopter primary aircraft
Word on the Street
The following is a sidebar of Rotorcraft Pro's story on Hurricanes Hit - Helicopters Rise that outlines ten valuable lessons learned from the first responders that were on the ground in the days following Hurricane Harvey.
1. Think about roles and responsibilities in advance, and put safety first. “People can get into these disasters…and they start to take risks they wouldn’t take elsewhere,” Tom Baldwin, Air Evac Lifeteam safety manager said. Put an immediate stop to any of that. Debrief after every shift. [Read More...]
Helicopter First Responders
Hurricane Harvey Helicopters