LAFD Attends Extreme Aircrew Training at 'Graveyard of the Pacific'

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 |

During January 2012, the Los Angeles Fire Department was invited to participate in a first of its kind joint-agency training at the U.S. Coast Guard's Advanced Helicopter Rescue School. It was an extreme honor for LAFD personnel to learn from the world's finest...

Extreme Aircrew Training at 'Graveyard of the Pacific'
Written by:
Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Littlejohn
13th Coast Guard District public affairs.

Hail pelts the side of students’ faces as they prepare to plunge into the frigid surf. Their teachers put on fins while lifeguards float on jet skis just beyond the 12-foot breaking waves, crashing on the beach before them. This is no ordinary classroom, and these are no ordinary students.

The Coast Guard’s Advanced Helicopter Rescue School, held in Astoria, Ore., and the area surrounding the Columbia River entrance, typically does what its name implies. It’s a Coast Guard school that teaches Coast Guard helicopter crews advanced rescue techniques required for successful mission execution in extreme conditions.

One recent class of trainees took their extreme training as an opportunity to partner with other rescue professionals. The class convening at the end of January included air operations members of both the Los Angeles City and Santa Barbara County, Calif., fire departments as well as pararescuemen with the Royal Canadian Air Force 442nd Squadron out of Comox, B.C. The mix of students marked the first joint-agency class of its kind, strengthening partnerships and sharing knowledge with civilian and military rescue agencies with similar search and rescue missions. (read on, see additional video...)
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We wish to thank Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. and members of the 13th Coast Guard District for allowing members of your Los Angeles Fire Department to participate in this valuable training.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Bill Raddatz said...

I was stationed there while in the USCG, and can attest to the condtions there. If you want to train for a worst case senario, go there. Glad to see the inter-agency coordination.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Mr. Raddatz,

Thank you for visiting the LAFD News & Information blog, but more importantly for your service to our country.

The men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard past and present remain an inspiration to members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, and nowhere was that more evident than during January on the Oregon coastline you know so well.

Though we hope there will be few LAFD incidents needing the advanced skills learned in Astoria, we're certain that when the need arises, our Los Angeles Fire Department crews will be able to work more quickly and efficiently in saving lives thanks to lessons learned from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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