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CAL FIRE Chooses TracPlus and Flightcell


Global tracking service provider TracPlus has been selected by the State of California to provide full flight tracking and voice communication services across the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CAL FIRE) airborne firefighting fleet.


The fleet of more than 50 aircraft, which includes North American-Rockwell OV-10A, Bell UH-1H, Beechcraft King Air 200, and Grumman S-2T aircraft, will be fitted with Flightcell DZMx dual-mode tracking and voice devices supported through TracPlus’ full suite of end-to-end services. This will allow CAL FIRE to track its fleet at 15-second intervals over cellular networks, and automatically switch to a slower reporting rate over the Iridium satellite network where necessary. This significant upgrade will also deliver a high level of detailed, real-time fire event data from bucket and tank systems.


“We are proud to have been chosen to provide these critical services in support of CAL FIRE’s mission. This contract builds on seven years of real-world experience in supporting airborne


firefighting in Australia at state and federal levels. This decision reflects our unshakable commitment to delivering the very best in mission-critical support services to airborne emergency services worldwide,” says TracPlus Global’s Chief Innovation Officer Chris Hinch.


Airbus Helicopters H145 Makes U.S. Law Enforcement Debut


The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) will soon become the first law enforcement agency in the United States to operate the versatile twin-engine Airbus Helicopters H145.


The department’s air support unit will use the new H145 primarily for high-altitude rescues in mountainous regions of Nevada. LVMPD performs about 170 such rescues each year.


“We fly in some extremely harsh conditions, and we need a helicopter that excels in a grueling hot and high-density altitude environment,” LVMPD Chief Pilot Steve Morris Jr. said. “The H145 checks all of the boxes for us.”


To select the H145, LVMPD conducted an in-depth review of all helicopters that met its mission and cost requirements. Airbus Helicopters Inc. then provided an on-site, three-day demonstration of the aircraft during peak summer heat at or near max gross weight. Morris said the aircraft met or exceeded all expectations.


In addition to high-altitude rescues, LVMPD will also use the helicopter to transport specialized officers to scenes in the Las


16 Sep/Oct 2017


Vegas Valley and unincorporated areas of the county as needed. The H145 is equipped with the Wescam MX-10 camera system, Churchill ARS mapping system, SX-16 night sun and MacroBlue monitor for specialized police and rescue missions.


This is LVMPD’s first Airbus aircraft, which Morris said is expected to go into service after pilots and search-and-rescue officers complete transition training.


“We’re proud supporters of the U.S. law enforcement community delivering 61 percent of parapublic helicopters to the U.S. market since 2007. LVMPD is at the forefront of the community with its decision to select the H145,” said Treg Manning, vice president of Airbus Helicopters Inc.


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