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ROTORCRAFT RIDE ALONG


STORY AND PHOTOS BY STEVE GOLDSWORTHY


A DAY WITH THE


LASD AERO BUREAU Sensory overload is all I can think of as I strap on a Gentex hel-


met, hook up my full body harness to a restraint hook, and sink into my seat as the giant Sikorsky H3H helicopter lifts off into the fog. In seconds that big open sliding door reveals nothing but grey as


we climb out IFR from KLGB. From my seat I can watch the pilots as they call out altitudes, turns and VOR headings. A few seconds later, we are on top, but since we are still on an IFR departure, we’re still fly- ing on the gauges. It’s only one minute later when we get our first call. A traffic acci-


dent victim is down below us in the fog. He was working on his bro- ken down car on the right shoulder of the Pomona freeway when he was rear ended and trapped under his own car. With some major injuries he needs to be flown to a trauma center. In just minutes we find a route under the fog layer and we are circling, of all places, a large parking lot at a mortuary where the LA County Fire Department has set up our LZ. We don’t even shut down as the victim is wheeled on board and we leave earth in a rather steep departure. “Advise USC we are 4 minutes out,” I hear one of the pilots telling Sgt. Kubly, our crew- chief. Only with a helicopter could you travel those miles in 4 minutes. Anyone who has tried to drive the Pomona Freeway in Los Angeles can vouch for that. There are six of us on board Air Rescue 5 today. Three are mem-


bers of the elite Special Enforcement Bureau. Sgt. Kubly is the crew chief. He not only runs the winch, he runs the entire rescue operation on board. Two SEB paramedics are on board to treat any victims. SEB is also home of the LA County Sheriff’s SWAT team, rescue dive team, a group of ground based rescue paramedics, armored vehicles and a slew of high tech ways to put a bad guy into custody. The two pilots on


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