CAL FIRE Air Rescue Ryan Copter 301
The Air Rescue Program began in 2005 at RAAB. In close cooperation with the Riverside County Fire Department, a Goodrich Internal Hoist was purchased for Copter 301. Prior to this, all technical rescues involved the use of a technique known as 'Short Haul'. This required attaching a patient to the end of a rope and flying that patient below the aircraft to a safe location. The rescue hoist allows the rescuers and patients to be easily retrieved into the cabin for speedy transport to advanced medical care.
The rescue hoist has the capability to lift 600 pounds on a 250 foot long steel cable. ince this was the first hoist used on a CAL FIRE aircraft, RAAB personnel had to develop a training and operations plan that could be used as a model for the rest of the CAL FIRE fleet of helicopters.
To date, Copter 301 and crews have flown hundreds of rescue missions involving the use of the rescue hoist, on both fire and civilian personnel in Riverside and surrounding counties.