Bay Area/ North SF Bay Area/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 18, 2024
Sonoma County Sheriff's Helicopter Executes Nighttime Rescue of Injured Firefighter Amidst Point FireSource: Sonoma Sheriff

In the early hours of Monday, a Sonoma County Sheriff's helicopter dubbed "Henry-1" executed a dramatic rescue of an injured firefighter amidst the #PointFire, as reported by the Sonoma Sheriff's Facebook page. CALFIRE's request for aerial assistance came at around 1:00 a.m. when a firefighter was gravely injured in remote and rugged terrain, hampered by the smoke from the neighboring conflagration.

The Henry-1 team quickly located the injured party using coordinates from REDCOM, which directs the county's fire and medical dispatch operations. The dense smoke from the nearby fire made the visibility challenging, but despite these hurdles, the rescue crew adeptly maneuvered the helicopter, gearing up for a precarious 100-foot-long line extraction. They were able to safely reach where the firefighter was being given emergency treatment on the ground.

Using the helicopter's long line, the Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) was lowered to the injured firefighter, who, by that time, had already been stabilized and secured on a backboard by his colleagues. A paramedic from the Petaluma Fire Department, who had been providing medical care, was also airlifted alongside the firefighter. The swift coordination between the agencies led to the successful airlift of the two to a safe landing zone, after which they received further medical transport.

Following the rescue, the Henry-1 reconfigured for medical transfer and transported the injured firefighter and Petaluma paramedic to a local trauma center, as described in the Sonoma Sheriff's Facebook post. The seamless execution of the rescue underlines the immense importance and effectiveness of inter-agency cooperation in times of emergency. The agencies involved with the rescue have received commendation for their teamwork, which proved vital for the swift and safe extraction of the injured firefighter. Everyone involved wishes the firefighter a rapid recovery and return to duty.