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New Firefighting Helicopter Arrives in San Diego

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

San Diego County has taken delivery of a new fierfighting helicopter. The brand new Bell 412 EPX will enter service in the middle of next year once pilots and crews go through the familairization training in Texas. 

The 2023 Bell 412EPX is equipped with a 375 tank that can drop water or foam. The crew will include a Deputy Pilot, Cal-Fire Captain and a paramedic. The copter can seat up to 7 for wildfires. The helicopter has the capability for long range duty. 

Cost of the helicopter was 15.7 million, using the departments budget and funds from proposition 172, the local public safety and improvement protection act of 1993. This helicopter wil limprove response to both wildfire and rescue responses.

This begins the phasing out of the departments three Bell 205s, which were built in the 1960's. The county plans on ordering 2 more Bell 412EPX helicopters in the future. 



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RYAN GROTHECorrespondent

Full time firefighter in San Diego North county. Freelance media credentialed photographer. main area of focus is aerial firefighting.