Spokane Valley Fire joins with metro area partners to receive helicopter hoist training for access to difficult areas where rescue options are needed. Flight Medic helicopter training.

The Spokane area Fire Department has trained 4 Paramedics to serve as flight medics on the Spokane Regional Air Support Unit’s (SRASU) Rescue 3 Helicopter. These members of the SRASU successfully completed a demanding hoist rescue certification course instructed by Advanced Rescue Systems (ARS).  During this course, all crew members (pilots, crew chiefs, and helicopters rescue medics) conducted approximately 75 practice rescue hoists each.  These training hoists were conducted in varying environments, from open fields to heavily treed mountain tops in challenging weather environments. A patient is "packaged" for transport.

In addition to this training, members of the agency had the privilege of training with members of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office on hoist operations, both here in Spokane as well as in Snohomish County.  They also visited and consulted with the Air Force and Army National Guard aviation units. Other training completed included underwater helicopter egress training, Goodrich hoist maintenance certification, and wilderness survival. A few select members also attended the Airborne Public Safety Association’s Rescue Summit, held in Atlanta this spring.

Currently the SRASU is one of only fifteen agencies accredited through the Airborne Public Safety Association in law enforcement operations.  Future goals for the SRASU are to achieve accreditation on search and rescue/fire operations, as well as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The unit will also be striving to eventually incorporate night hoist operations at some point in the future. One last goal is the exploration of fire suppression through aerial water drops.

Sheriff's Rescue Helicopter.

The metro area regional strategy (Rescue 3) is staffed with personnel from the Spokane County Sherriff’s Office, Spokane Valley Fire Department, Kootenai County Sherriff’s Office, Coeur d’Alene Police Department and Spokane Police Department.

Rescue personnel are hoisted into the helicopter.Rescue 3 is equipped with a long line and hoist system for short haul rescue missions. The long line and hoist system allow our Tactical Flight Medics and Tactical Flight Officers to be lowered from Rescue 3 in order to retrieve a citizen that is either injured or lost in remote areas such as out of bound skiing or a lost hunter. The primary mission for Rescue 3 is search and rescue.

This new training is a great asset to the metro area for difficult to access areas.

To see this training in action, click here.

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