The aircraft will be put to use primarily in a fire suppression role, as well as EMS and SAR, for which they will be equipped with a cargo hook, rescue hoist and Bambi Bucket. There’s a bit of a wait for the team though, with the first helicopter not scheduled for delivery until the third quarter of next year. The contract with Leonardo includes a five-year maintenance, support and training package.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez commented on the purchase: “The safety of our Miami-Sade Fire Rescue operations team and the wellbeing of the residents we serve is our greatest priority. For these reasons, the crashworthiness standards of the top-ranked Leonardo helicopters were a key factor in our County’s decision to award this contract. In addition, the purchase price, training services and support we will receive during the transition to these aircraft were also strong considerations.”