By Miriam Raftery
September 6, 2021 (El Cajon) – Effective today, Cal Fire’s hoist rescue helicopter team based in El Cajon has upgraded to an Advanced Life Support (ALS) rescue aircraft. A Cal-Fire press release states, “This additional capability will allow for simultaneous rescue and ALS care, therefore greatly improving survivability of critical illness. We are very proud San Diego is the first Unit to provide ALS level care on a helicopter in CAL FIRE. We are excited and proud to provide ALS care to those who will need it throughout our County’s backcountry.”
Six firefighter/paramedics & engineer/paramedics had to complete basic helicopter operations and safety training. Cal Fire’s aviation/helicopter program is a joint effort with San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.