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Roondog

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How does someone get the training needed for this endevour? Is it OJT, are there shools that offer training and are there any recommended educational materials available online? Do you have to be carded to work under the command of local authorities on non BLM land? I have little to no uderstatnding about this aspect of the industry, so I would appreciate anything you can teach me. Thank you for your input and time.

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Let's try to narrow this down a bit. There are 4 ways I know to be flying a helo fighting fires. They are:

1. Get 3,000 hours of experience and apply at a FD that requires high time pilots. ie the LACoFD model.

2. Get a job as a fire fighter and after 5 years and with as little as 300 hours and a commercial ticket, you could get (very) lucky and get moved over to AirOps....ie, the LAFD model. (You spend a lot of time flying a 206 before you move into the 412)

3. Get some experience so you can get carded and go fly contract fires.

4. Join the military.

 

Which path were you thinking of?

 

 

If it was strictly the contract carded route, and you are on Fb I could connect you with a couple pilots flying fires now.

Edited by Goldy
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Goldy,

 

I'm not on FB but I do have some questions and would like to know if I could pick your or your friends brains on fighting fires.

 

/r,

Chris

 

If it was strictly the contract carded route, and you are on Fb I could connect you with a couple pilots flying fires now.

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I was having a discussion with some folks in my commuity recently. Knowing that I'm a pilot and former firefighter, they suggested the idea of looking into whether it would be possible for the local fire districts to apply for federal assistance ie. a grant to provide a helicopter for immediate response to fires that broke out within the local districts. The hope would be to get control of the fire before it ever became a major incident. A little more info. I recently moved back to the area where I served as a volunteer firefighter. This area is the urban interface of the front range in Colorado. As I'm sure you are aware, we had a devastating fire season this year and people are on egde and really starting to think and prepare in a proactive manner, hence this idea. I've read the other posts on firefighting and found a wealth of information, however, I also realize that this idea may or may not, have ever been considered before and therefor, I'm looking for comments, suggestions, opions and constructive criticism as it relates to this specific scenario. Thanks Goldy, for chiming in. I really enjoy reading your responses.

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It has been considered. But you arent going to find any grants that "provide" a helicopter. If an agency already has one, there may be funding for the costs of firefighting reimbursement or to provide some equipment. You need to find out who the controlling authority is for that land. BLM, USFS, etc. There is also the issue of private contractors being called in for fires as well. My agency is getting into carrying a bambi bucket, but for the most part, we arent getting any funding for it. its just going to be a service we provide as part of our operations.

What you will need to look into is whatever state emergency management agency is in your area. If your looking for some fed program to buy you a Super Huey, and foot the bill for it in case there is a fire, I wouldnt count on it. You will also be competing against the Army Guard and all those private contractors. Definitley move forward, but there isnt some pot of gold at the end of the column of smoke. Not to sound negative, but Ive been working with grants for a few years as it relates to aircraft. But my experience isnt in CO though...... But you need to start asking the controlling authorities of the areas your wanting to drop water on. If Im not mistaken, havnt all those agencies, Denver, Colorado Springs, dumped their helo's for funding issues? if there was money to be had, I can guarantee you they have explored every angle possible before the axe dropped.

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Thanks for the advice Flying Pig. I know there are a lot of factors to consider. Right now, this topic is something I day dream about. But what a fun day dream it is. If I find the time, I will definately be talking to those in charge to get some answers. There are a number of departments in this area that would be propositioned, some with lots of money, and some with little. I also know of a county sheriff who is interested in the idea, not only from a firefighting standpoint, but also for the use in search and rescue. I envision having a mutual aid agreement between departments to have access to the service as well as share part if not all, operating costs. This brings me to the fun part of this discussion. What type of A/c would you choose to operate between 5280 and 14,000 MSL, on a budget that would satisfy the requirements of this discussion? L3, or 4, 530F, B3? Yes, you are correct that Colorado Springs has dropped their fleet of OH 58s, but Denver still flies a B407 for LE. I'm not sure about search and rescue, but I'm almost positive that they don't do fires, as I haven't seen them on any this summer. I know Colorado is hurting for money, but I can't begin to speculate as to what options they are considering after this fire season. It's almost seems that they got caught with their pants down this year. For example, read about the Lower North Fork fire. That one was in the district that I live in.

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customs down here in arizona uses a 60... is that too expensive? lol

 

Arizona DPS has these... including flagstaff coverage which our city of altitude at 12,633...

http://digital-photography-school.com/forum/photojournalism-sys/163865-arizona-search-rescue.html here's some photos of one of them. i dont know which model it is though lol

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I agree with my Pig buddy, plus I'll add; commercial operators dont take kindly to poachers. Furthermore, granted, your community is asking the question but it's usually kept going by a pilot looking to fill a seat. Plus, one of the worst places you want to find yourself is with a bunch of government departmental decision makers attempting to engage in a discussion about operating aircraft. Bad X10.

 

If you're looking to fight fire in a helicopter around your community, get hired on with a commercial or public operator which supply's that service.

 

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Thanks for the advice Flying Pig. I know there are a lot of factors to consider. Right now, this topic is something I day dream about. But what a fun day dream it is. If I find the time, I will definately be talking to those in charge to get some answers. There are a number of departments in this area that would be propositioned, some with lots of money, and some with little. I also know of a county sheriff who is interested in the idea, not only from a firefighting standpoint, but also for the use in search and rescue. I envision having a mutual aid agreement between departments to have access to the service as well as share part if not all, operating costs. This brings me to the fun part of this discussion. What type of A/c would you choose to operate between 5280 and 14,000 MSL, on a budget that would satisfy the requirements of this discussion? L3, or 4, 530F, B3? Yes, you are correct that Colorado Springs has dropped their fleet of OH 58s, but Denver still flies a B407 for LE. I'm not sure about search and rescue, but I'm almost positive that they don't do fires, as I haven't seen them on any this summer. I know Colorado is hurting for money, but I can't begin to speculate as to what options they are considering after this fire season. It's almost seems that they got caught with their pants down this year. For example, read about the Lower North Fork fire. That one was in the district that I live in.

 

You have NO IDEA how nearly impossible that is going to be! :D Just out of curiosity, and dont take this the wrong way, but who are you to initiate any of these discussions? A fledgling robbie driver-guy hoping youll get tapped to fly it because it was your idea? Seriously, if your just some dude taking helicopter lessons, your not going to get past the secretaries voice mail. Again, didnt want to come off rude, just sayin'

 

I think your underestimating what steps have probably already been considered. Sure, there are tons of Sheriffs and FDs who would love to have a 407, UH-1, 530F, right up until you tell them how much its going to cost. There is a reason none of what you are talking about exists in your area.

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You have NO IDEA how nearly impossible that is going to be! :D Just out of curiosity, and dont take this the wrong way, but who are you to initiate any of these discussions? A fledgling robbie driver-guy hoping youll get tapped to fly it because it was your idea? Seriously, if your just some dude taking helicopter lessons, your not going to get past the secretaries voice mail. Again, didnt want to come off rude, just sayin'

 

FPig- I had the same thoughts until I started conversing with RoonDog via email......quite the opposite is true.

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OK Cool. My unit gets bombarded by recent R22 CFI's with "great ideas" and we get approached like they are the first person to ever think about calling FEMA and asking them to buy us an Eagle Single..........but only as long as they get it in writing that they get to fly it and the agency foots the bill :D Quite honestly a few in the past have been pretty arrogant about their abilities with 500hrs in the traffic pattern.

Edited by Flying Pig
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Hereyago...

 

At the altitudes you indicated, an AS350B3 would be worth considering. With that, as the project manager for the purchase of our B3 I can give you a fairly good idea of the number you can throw out to the decision makers. That is, a public safety B3 with multi-mission capability will run in the neighborhood of 3.5M.......

 

I'd suggest you have an AED handy when you tell them this......

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customs down here in arizona uses a 60... is that too expensive? lol

 

Arizona DPS has these... including flagstaff coverage which our city of altitude at 12,633...

http://digital-photo...rch-rescue.html here's some photos of one of them. i dont know which model it is though lol

 

Which city is that? (at 12,633')

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