Since 1971, when the Air Unit came into existence, its fleet has grown from one Bell-47 helicopter to four Bell helicopters (commonly referred to as “Hueys”) inclusive of one HH-1H, one UH-1H, one 205B and one 212.
The Aviation Unit flies diverse missions including, but not limited to:
- Search and rescue missions including mountain and water rescue
- Support for agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard, State Lifeguards, etc
- Emergency medical services (EMS) flights
- Fire fighting
- Crime scene photo flights
- Marijuana eradication
- Patrol support missions
The Air Unit flight crews consist of three pilots, two full-time crew chiefs, one fire helicopter manager, ten collaterally assigned crew chiefs, and three maintenance technicians. Air Unit flight crews are trained in such specialties as night vision goggle operation, scuba diving, swift water rescue, and emergency medical procedures. The flight crews are supplemented on medical/rescue missions by highly qualified medical personnel consisting of physicians, nurses, and paramedics.