Air International 2016-01
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Main: Paramilitary
In 2010, the air unit got the green light to acquire a smaller, nimbler asset to aid in law enforcement patrol and surveillance and act as a command and control helicopter to work with its existing fleet of larger Hueys. A second-hand Bell 206L Long Ranger was selected and, after years of refurbishment work, this helicopter recently entered service
Helicopters 8 and 9, respectively the Bell 205B and the twin engine Bell 212.
Air Unit 9 drops on the Springs Fire in 2013, saving a large tract of nearby homes from potential destruction and demonstrates the Simplex Fire Attack tank’s large water-dropping capability.
Pilot Ken Williams manoeuvers a Huey through the foothills of Ventura County, one of the many environments in the county.
Helicopters 8 and 9, respectively the Bell 205B and the twin engine Bell 212.
The helipads (bottom left) the air unit use are on wheels, enabling the aircraft to easily be towed in and out of the hangar for weather or maintenance.
Helicopter 6 dips its snorkel into Lake Sherwood to refill the Simplex tank. The fire was under two miles away from this water source, demonstrating the air unit's ability to quickly refill and be back on the fire line within minutes.
The Simplex Aerospace Fire Attack tank can carry 375 US gallons (1,419 litres) of water.
Senior Deputy Darin Rich assists firefighter Randy Gilbert after hoisting him from the rocks below in the high mountain area of Ventura County in the Los Padres National Forest.