Firehawk Flies 24 Rescues in About 11 Rain-Soaked Hours
The crew of a single Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Firehawk saved 34 victims in 24 separate rescues in one 10.8-hr. stretch of flying Jan. 10 as Southern Californians struggled to survive torrential rains that plagued the region for weeks. Elsewhere, the downpours led to a landslide Jan. 10 that wiped out about 20 homes in La Conchita, Calif. and claimed 10 victims, some of whom were buried under a 25-ft.-deep river of mud .
The crew of the heavily modified Sikorsky S-70A estimated that 14 of the 34 victims might have been rescued by ground crews, but that the remainder were beyond the reach of teams below and would have been lost had the aircraft not been available.