USA — Preparing for the most challenging fire season in recent history, the Los Angeles (City) Fire Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department have obtained two of the largest fixed-tank firefighting helicopters in the world.
The Erickson S-64 Helitanker, known for the extraordinary ability to maneuver and drop up to 2,000 gallons of water, foam mix, or retardant on fires threatening highly populated, high value urban interface areas, has already helped California save homes in Malibu, Topanga Canyon, Sepulveda Canyon, and others during its 9-year history of working with both City and County departments.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department looks forward to implementing the immense precision water drop capabilities of the Aircrane Helitanker within our existing fleet to enhance our comprehensive air and ground fire protection program. said Anthony Marrone, Chief of Air Operations for Los Angeles County Fire Department. The Department will employ the Erickson S-64 Aircrane Helitanker for the next 5 years during each fire season to protect homes, wildland, and air quality.
Mission components include a one-of-a-kind water cannon which has the ability to shoot water straight ahead of the helicopter to fight high rise structure fires in addition to the vertical water drop for wildland fire suppression. Soon to be added to the Erickson S-64 Aircrane arsenal is Night Vision Goggle (NVG) technology, which is currently in development with assistance from the Los Angeles County Fire Department. NVG Technology is the next-stage innovation that will significantly add to the firefighting capabilities of the Aircrane, said Udo Rieder, Erickson Air-Crane Chief Executive Officer. It will allow us to more rapidly suppress the fires and we look forward to implementing this system with LACo.FD.
Los Angeles (City) Fire Department brings the powerful Erickson S-64 Helitanker into seasonal service for the second year of a three-year contract. Both City and County leased Helitankers are available to either agency as shared resources.