Photos courtesy LAFD/John McCoy
Fire 7 on Duty
The LAFD’s newest innovative firefighting rig took to the skies March 29, as the department took ownership of a brand-new $2.6 million helicopter, badged as FIRE-7.
A ceremony was held at the LAFD Air Operations Center at Airports’ Van Nuys facility.
The current LAFD helicopter fleet is a combination of five medium-duty and two light-duty helicopters. The five medium-duty helicopters fulfill a majority of the tactical mission needs including, but not limited to, aerial firefighting (water dropping), hoist rescue, air ambulance, swift water rescue, and high-rise firefighting support and evacuation.
This new light-duty helicopter is the second (Bell 505) aircraft the LAFD uses for HLCO (helicopter coordinator) and observation during incidents, including wildfires and other major emergencies requiring multiple aircraft. HLCO pilots are responsible for managing the air space and flight communications for all responding aircraft and providing real-time situational analysis for incident commanders.
This purchase was made possible by the generous support from donors to the Los Angeles Fire Dept. Foundation. The LAFD Foundation consistently fills the gap in important equipment and training which our budget can not cover.