Firefighters, cops and medics took turns this week rappelling from a prop helicopter in Olds Station.
The first responders were practicing hoist rescues, the type of recovery often used to pluck stranded or injured hikers from remote areas.
Mounted above Chelan County Fire District 1, Station 11’s hose tower, the prop helicopter matches the district’s helicopter that’s currently in service, which adds important overlap between training and real world rescues, said Chief Brian Brett.
"The goal is to be able to launch a local helicopter to serve the rescue needs of the people who come and visit our region,” Brett said.
The helicopter was placed on the fire station’s hose tower in February 2018 so first responders could practice hoist rescue training.
Four local agencies — District 1, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Cascade Medical Center and Ballard Ambulance — are training personnel on hoist rescue operations.