Wednesday, December 26, 2007

[LAFD] Helicopter FIRE-3 - Hoist Rescue - 250' above canyon floor

[LAFD] Firefighters from helicopter FIRE-3 demonstrated skill and bravery when called upon this afternoon.

Firefighters responded to a 9-1-1 call for an injured hiker, in a steep hillside area between El Escorpion Park and Bell Canyon.
One of the hikers, an 18 year old man fell approximately 20 feet and fractured a leg and had minor trauma to the head. His friend was able to climb down to an intersection, then direct the fire companies to the victim.
The firefighters found that the rescue uphill would be too steep to perform safely. They called for a hoist rescue and air operations sent Fire-3 to affect a rescue with Fire-1 as the safety observer.
As an additional safety precaution, E105 and E106 assisted Ground to Air communications for Fire-3.
The helicopter crew of Fire-3 under the direction of Crew Chief-Dave Norquist demonstrated why LAFD firefighters are the best in the world.
Pilot-Phil Clark skillfully maneuvered the airship in a canyon, where the erratic wind gusts can make a steady work platform difficult.
Helitak Safety-Member Robert Steinbacher was in direct communication with coworker Firefighter-Paramedic William Dunn as he was lowered to the fall victim. For about 20 minutes the pilot held the airship in a steady hover, despite sudden gusts of wind.
Paramedic Dunn dangled 110' feet down from the helicopter 250' above the canyon floor. Alone on a steep hillside, without room for a second Paramedic(the footing was limited), Firefighter Dunn stabilized,splinted and packaged a patient into a stokes litter basket, before being hoisted to safety.
Paramedics Steinbacher and Dunn continued treatment enroute to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital. The young man was listed in fair-stable condition.

Truly these unsung hero's of the LAFD can make all Angelino's proud of their Fire Department

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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