New Firefighting Helicopter Arrives in San Diego
Photo by Ryan Grothe The new acquired Bell 412EPX will enter service next year.
Photo by Ryan Grothe The new Bell 412EPX in the hangar with the Departments other aircraft including a brand new 407 for law enforcement use ( left )
Photo by Ryan GrotheCal-Fire San Diego unit Chief Tony Mecham and San Diego Sheriff Kelly Martinez along with helicopter crews at the Press Conference.
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.