LA County's Fire Department to expand its fleet of Sikorsky Firehawk helicopters
Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Supervisor Kathryn Barger has announced that the service intends to purchase an additional two Firehawk helicopters, which will bring the total number of Firehawk helicopters that the department will be operating up to seven
The Firehawk aircraft that LA County's Fire Department intends to buy are two Sikorksky S-70 Black Hawk helicopters that have been modified for aerial firefighting purposes and are to cost the department roughly $4.2 million apiece.
LA County's Fire Department Fire Captain Daryl Osby noted the department currently had nine helicopters – six of which are Bell 412 helicopters, and the other three being Firehawks. Two more Firehawks are due to be delivered in October / Spring 2020 and then there are the additional two that Barger intends to purchase. “We’re eager to negotiate the potential addition of two new Firehawks to our arsenal to further our efforts to keep our community safe and our fires under control,” she said.
LA County's Fire Department also currently has access to other firefighting aircraft, as per its agreements with other agencies. These include two SuperScoopers leased from Canada that are due to be delivered in September and four helicopters owned by Los Angeles City, as well as another firefighting helicopter from Southern California Edison (stationed in Orange County) that has night flying capability.
“It’s the duty and privilege of our LA County Board of Supervisors to ensure our Fire Department is well-equipped to battle the unpredictable wildfires we’ve seen over the last few years,” Barger said.