13-Apr-2015 Source: San Diego County Sheriff
Sheriff Bill Gore, Supervisors Bill Horn and Dianne Jacob and Sheriff’s ASTREA (Aerial Support to Regional Enforcement Agencies) unveiled a new patrol helicopter today. For photos, follow us on Twitter @SDSheriff. For video of ASTREA’s Bell 407GX in action, follow this link: http://goo.gl/BIlXIJ.
The $4.8 million aircraft is a Bell 407GX. It will be used for patrol, search and rescue operations, as well as firefighting missions. A helicopter bucket (known as a “Bambi Bucket”) can be attached to help with water drops in case of a wildfire. Among the new features is a glass cockpit. It gives critical flight information at a glance for greater awareness and safety. The crew is made up of a Pilot and a Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) and both are Sheriff’s Deputies. The crew communicates with ground personnel, operates the search light, public announcement or PA system, infrared camera, map system, etc. The Bell 407GX can carry five passengers.
The Sheriff’s Department is also in the process of purchasing another Bell 205 firefighting helicopter. It will increase the agency’s firefighting helicopters to three and we expect delivery in Fall 2015. By the end of 2015, the Sheriff’s fleet will have nine helicopters. Six are dedicated to 24/7 law enforcement operations. Three for daytime firefighting and search and rescue operations.
For more information on Sheriff’s ASTREA, visit www.sdsheriff.net/astrea/index.html.