Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) has taken delivery of its first AW139 helicopter. The handover included a small ceremony at Miami Executive airport in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Officials from the County, including Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, spoke at the event.
“As a former firefighter, I've been very impressed with this world-class search and rescue helicopter,” Giménez says. “Replacing antiquated helicopters, the AW139 is a vital addition to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's fleet. It will provide a heightened level of safety and security for our fire rescue workers and those whose lives they work to save.”
MDFR ordered four AW139 aircraft in December 2019 for fire suppression, EMS and SAR missions. Each helicopter features a cargo hook, rescue hoist and Bambi bucket. The remaining three aircraft are expected to be delivered by the end of 2020.
MDFR protects people, property and the environment by providing proactive, responsive, professional and humanitarian fire rescue services that are essential to public health, safety and wellbeing. It operates 71 fire rescue stations within Miami-Dade County and serves 29 municipalities. Due to the scope of its rescue operations, the organisation frequently provides mutual aid support to neighbouring counties including Monroe, Collier, Broward and Lee.
Miami-Dade is the most populous county in Florida with over 2.7 million people and more than 2,000 sqm (larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware).
In the US, AW139 customers include the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), New Jersey and Maryland States Police Departments, among many others. The US Air Force (USAF) will soon introduce the AW139-based Boeing MH-139 to replace the UH-1N fleet.