County sunsets helicopter council

In February 2004, San Diego County Board of Supervisors created the Fire and Life Safety Helicopter Operating Council to  oversee the operation of a fire and life safety helicopter  program.  In February 2009, the board dissolved the  council as obsolete.    
“We don’t need it,” Supervisor Bill Horn said of the recent 5-0 vote. “It hadn’t met for five years.”    
The 2004 action authorized an expenditure to contribute  to a study on a regional program, directed by the county’s chief administrative officer, to return to the board in 90 days to  determine the type of helicopter and 45 days after completion of  the regional study to determine other needs.
The board established funding  for the eventual acquisition of a helicopter and requested that each supervisor submit the nomination of one fire service  professional to be considered for appointment to the Fire and Life Safety Helicopter Operating Council.
The council’s purpose was to oversee the operation of a fire and  life safety helicopter program and to advise the supervisors on  all matters pertaining to the helicopter.  The council consisted of six members. In addition to the members  appointed by the supervisors, the county sheriff  nominated a sixth member.    
The council sought input from the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association, the City of San Diego Fire Department, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the  U.S. Forest Service, the military, the Sheriff’s Department and  other sources that could provide expertise on the region’s  aerial firefighting needs.  
Discussions included type of  aircraft, maintenance programs, pilot qualifications, program  management, and recruitment and retention.    
In July 2004, the supervisors authorized the purchase of  two fire and life safety helicopters and gave  operational control of those helicopters to the Sheriff’s  Department. The Sheriff’s Department took control of those two  Bell 205 A-1 helicopters on June 27, 2005, and stationed them at  the ASTREA (Aerial Support To Regional Enforcement Agencies) base  at Gillespie Field.    
“We have an aerial division now,” Horn said.  “We don’t need that commission.”    

Related posts:

  1. Fire Safe Council aids fire victims
  2. LAFCO activates regional fire authority
  3. County’s traffic review process
  4. Report of explosion prompts ground and air search in Country Estates
  5. Sheriff announces retirement midway through four-year term

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Posted by dondowell on Apr 6 2009. Filed under Archive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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