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This is my first post here, so I'm trying to make it a good one.


We're all familiar with military search and rescue but is there a civilian counterpart to that? In my research I have found civilian helo's that do search and rescue but never in the U.S. Are there jobs out there where you work for a non-military program that does SAR? And are they abundant? Basically, I would love to work my way up to doing a mission like this or EMS someday, any info would be greatly appreciated, and i'll do my own research from there.


I will attach a link I found to civi SAR training: http://www.priority1airrescue.com/Press_Releases.html


Thanks, Nick


pic related: british contract SAR helo


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Era Helicopters has a SAR program in the Gulf of Mexico. It's leading the FAA to come up with a SAR counsel being that it is new territory for a commercial operator in the US.



Priority 1 Air Recue provides the hoist training and in Era's case the crew in the back to include the hoist operator, paramedic and rescue swimmer. They adapt to various roles and aircraft but do not train the aircrews.

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thanks for the reply's. That's pretty much what I excepted. From what I gather, the EMS/Law enforcement jobs require a lot of hours (understandably) and is usually attained later in a pilots career. Considering this, what is a good job that some pilots occupy in the mean time to set them up for this type of work? (generally after GOM work) Or is it reasonable to aspire to be an EMS pilot as a youngster? haha



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There are contracted companies that contract to the Park Service and the USFS. National Park Service in the Grand Canyon I think contracts with Papillon for a SAR/EMS MD902. The USFS has a few AStars that handle the National Forest issues. We have launched on several SARs and determined that the victim was in the national forest. So they launch their contract helicopters. We are more than happy to take the action..... but life is easier when everyone stays in their own lanes and plays nicely. Theres plenty of flying to go around.


So.... those are all civilian pilots and civilian operated companies. You would have to get on with the company first and Im sure work your way in to the slots just like anywhere else in the private sector.

Edited by Flying Pig
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..... and is usually attained later in a pilots career.


That is not always the case. I don't want to open the civilian vs sworn debate here on this thread, but most law enforcement agencies require you to be a street cop in the Agency before going to the Aviation Unit. Some units will hire high-time pilots, send them to the academy and then straight to the Aviation Unit. It is just unit specific.


You can read through the post under the Airborne Law Enforcement Forum and get a better feel for what I am talking about.

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