King County Air Support getting ready for winter search and rescue work

Friday, October 22, 2021

The King County Sheriff's Office Air Support Unit (ASU) is a critical resource supporting both search and rescue efforts and public safety agencies throughout our region. ASU is comprised of four commissioned pilots and five helicopters based at the Renton Municipal Airport.

These photos capture their recent training exercise near the Bandera Airport. With the assistance of the King County Search and Rescue Association (KCSARA) and King County Medic One, the team created different scenarios where a hoist rescue would be needed. 

Often winter rescues involve steep, snowy or icy terrain that makes a foot rescue very difficult. That's when our highly trained ASU members enter the picture for a hoist rescue.

Guardian Two is the Bell UH1 'Huey' helicopter captured here. With a maximum speed of 125 knots, and the capacity to carry a nine person crew, it is the helicopter most often used for regional SAR missions.

Take a look at that hilltop. If the dusting of snow is any indication we can expect King County Air Support, and other first responders, to have a busy winter season.

--King County Sheriff's Office


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