Coulson Aviation has been awarded a $16 million firefighting contract with Southern California’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF).
With this contract Coulson will continue supporting the QRF throughout 2024, with an option to extend into 2025.
The contract includes three Boeing CH-47 Chinook Very Large Helitankers, a Sikorsky S-76 intelligence and recon helicopter, and full flight and maintenance crews. The aircraft operate around the clock, with pilots using night vision goggles (NVGs) at night.
“Coulson Aviation is thrilled to extend our support of the Southern California QRF,” said Britton Coulson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Coulson Aviation. “This contract went through a competitive bid process and Coulson was chosen again because of our high experience level, competitive pricing, and great customer feedback. We look forward to serving Southern California through 2024 and beyond.”
The QRF is a fully equipped wildfire suppression program for Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura County fire departments that launches day or night at the first sign of fire. This is Coulson’s sixth year contracting with Southern California Edison (SCE) to support the QRF and its second year supporting the QRF 24/7/365.
Since starting with the QRF, Coulson has flown over 700 hours, with 60 per cent of that time at night using NVGs, and dropped more than 4.5 million gallons of water on just under 200 wildfires. Every fire Coulson fought with the QRF was successfully extinguished in its initial burn – none have expanded into large campaign fires.
“One of our standout and high-demand capabilities is our night NVG firefighting,” said Coulson. “While NVG firefighting is a high-risk operation, our immersive training, technology-based targeting systems, and superior tanking systems significantly manage the risk and allow us to safely deliver considerable results. Our strong nighttime capabilities are the wildfire battle game changer for the QRF.”