HEMET (CBSLA) – Cal Fire Riverside County unveiled a new firefighting helicopter Friday.
The Sikorsky S-70i Firehawk offers enhanced firefighting capabilities for Riverside County fire crews. The twin-engine Firehawk is much faster than the single-engine Huey it’s replacing. It also has a greater hauling capacity for both water and fuel.
“The Huey would struggle sometimes to climb up steep elevations on hot days where the…Hawk has a tremendous amount of power. In addition, on the air-rescue side of things, the Cal Firehawk has an external mounted hoist that is always on the hoist and ready to perform air-rescue functions,” Battalion Chief Joshua Bischof told CBSLA.
The new aircraft, which came with a $26 million price tag funded by the state, will be dispatched from Hemet Ryan Air Attack Base.