Release: May 2001
Edition Quantity: 5,004
The Los Angeles City Fire Department's Air Operations unit has been there to
help in emergencies since 1962. The unit began with one piston engine Bell 47
and has grown to a fleet of six jet turbine powered helicopters. All of the
ships in the fleet are manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron.
The newest ships in the fleet are our two Bell 412's. They are a twin engine
helicopter whose primary mission is air ambulance, hoist and water dropping. The
twin engines give an added margin of safety during extended hovering operations
such as hoist rescues.
The most important assets of the unit are the pilots, helitac crew members and
The pilots at Air Operations undergo a rigorous screening and training regimen
before they are certified to fly for the Fire Department. The initial training
consists of 200 hours of instruction in basic operations, mountain terrain,
heavy load operations, confined space landing and aircraft emergencies.
The helitac crews are stationed at Fire Station 90 across the Van Nuys airport
from the Air Operations facility. The helitac crews consist of Captains,
Engineers, Apparatus Operators and Firefighters, all trained in helitac duties.
Maintenance of the Department helicopters is performed by Department of General
Services mechanics. Many of the mechanics have military background and extensive
training and experience as civilian mechanics. Their hard work and attention to
detail makes the LAFD fleet the best maintained anywhere in the country.
All Code 3 Fire
Trucks & Emergency Vehicles are:
Mint in Dome