Members of the LA County Fire Dept. Air Operations Section who fought the November 2018 Woolsey Fire pose with their Sikorsky Rescue and Maintenance awards. The section also received the Sikorsky Humanitarian Award. Photo credit: LA County Fire Dept.
Sikorsky recognized the County of Los Angeles Fire Department’s aerial operations for its efforts in combating the devastating Woolsey Fire last November with firefighting helicopters. The department, which operates eight multi-mission helicopters – including three S-70A Sikorsky Firehawks – was presented with Sikorsky’s Humanitarian Award by the company during a March 12 Los Angeles Board of Supervisors ceremony.
“Our company’s founder Igor Sikorsky designed a vertical lift machine for the purpose of saving lives,” said Jeanette Eaton, Sikorsky’s North America regional executive, during the ceremony. “He would applaud the courage and persistence that the County of Los Angeles Fire Department demonstrated to fight the Woolsey Fire.”
“Risking your lives to save others, and dedicating your time to keep these aircraft flying, embody the highest ideal of humanitarian service,” Eaton added.
The Woolsey Fire, the most destructive fire in Los Angeles County history, began on November 8 and quickly grew to 14-mile fire line that burned 97,000 acres and destroyed over 1,600 structures across a number of LA communities.
The three Sikorsky Firehawk aircraft totaled 120 flight hours and 350 water drops during the first seven days of the fight against the fire. Aircraft maintainers worked around the clock.
On February 11, Sikorsky President Dan Schultz presented the Sikorsky Rescue Award to 35 pilots and crewmembers, as well as the company’s Superior Maintenance Award to 21 members of the fire department.