|WHO WE ARE - AIR SQUADS|
The crews of Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Squads are comprised of (1) pilot and (2) crewmembers. These crewmembers are Los Angeles County Fire Department Fire Fighter Paramedics. Air Operations crewmembers have numerous duties which include performing wildland firefighting, technical rescues, and air ambulance transports. Due to the fact that these air squads are “multi-mission” these fire fighters must receive additional training to be qualified to work on Department helicopters.
All crewmembers have received firefighting training in the recruit tower and are certified paramedics who have gained experience by working at fire stations in the field. Air Operations Fire Fighter Paramedics must complete additional medical training according to the County's Department of Health Services. This includes a 16 hour ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) course, 16 hour PHTLS (Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support) course and a13 hour PEPP (Pediatric Education for Pre-hospital Personnel) or PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) course.
These Fire Fighter Paramedics must also complete in house classroom and practical training which includes:
All crewmembers are required to attend quarterly CE (Continuing Education) sessions to maintain their skills and certification. There are approximately 30 additional Fire Fighters who are not assigned to Air Operations but are qualified to work as crewmembers. These “qualified relief” Fire Fighters must maintain the same certifications and training as the Fire Fighters assigned to Air Operations.
Once these Fire Fighters have gained sufficient experience as crewmembers they may receive additional training to become qualified as crew chiefs. Crew chiefs handle all “topside” duties. These duties include aircraft radio communications, TOLC (Take Off and Landing Coordinator) and topside hoist operations.