Fire Line Emergency Assist by Elko Helitack

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firefighter injured helicopter extraction
BLM photo

In 52 minutes Elko Helitack and Corta Fire personnel assisted a firefighter on the line with a medical emergency and transported him to the local hospital. Elko Helitack was prepared to shuttle the firefighter off the line because of the certification to perform “Single-skid, Toe-in, hover Exit/Entry Procedures (STEP).” This was the first medical STEP extraction in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

firefighter injured helicopter extraction
Having the ability to use a helicopter during an emergency is a way to mobilize faster and decrease the time to the hospital. Photo by Greg Diemel, BLM.

This enhanced helicopter operation was developed by the BLM Salt Lake Helitack in response to the firefighter community’s need to insert firefighters in remote locations and assist in extracting injured firefighters. BLM Fire and Aviation program quickly recognized the added utility and now have four helicopter crews that are STEP qualified, Elko, Las Vegas, Salt Lake and Moab.

firefighter injured helicopter extraction
Corta Fire extraction August 2019. The crew and EMTs prepare to load the injured firefighter to the helicopter for quick transport. BLM photo.

Story and photos by BLM.

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One thought on “Fire Line Emergency Assist by Elko Helitack”

  1. Great to see the BLM utilizing helicopters and crews with a rescue capability like this…it’s long overdue. Maybe someday their will be hoist capable aircraft contracted by the BLM and FS for fire fighting?

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