Kittitas County Press Release
For Immediate Release
Kittitas County, WA -06/19/2013 - The “Cascade Mountains Consortium” is conducting joint helicopter training on June 26, 2013 near West Ellensburg Park, Ellensburg, Washington from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Chelan County Fire District #1, King County Sheriff’s Office, Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Fire District #26, and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office are all partners in the Cascade Mountains Consortium.
The Cascade Mountains Consortium brings together and enhances vital “all hazard” helicopter response capabilities in the Pacific Northwest. The large scale fires of the past number of years coupled with the 2012 fires which burned over 500,000 acres, destroying over 60 homes, show the urgent need to train our aircrews and properly equip our existing helicopters which are staged at the local level, with water buckets.
The 6.8 Nisqually earthquake on the west side of the Cascades in 2001 also showed the need for rescue helicopters in the region. Our counties provide a much needed service with very limited resources. Of the three medium-lift helicopters in the region, only one is water bucket equipped, and only two are equipped with rescue hoists. One helicopter is grounded indefinitely due to lack of operational funds.
The Cascade Mountains Consortium provides rapid “all-hazard” helicopter response teams to partners in the Pacific Northwest in response to large scale natural disasters or acts of terrorism. Missions include: fire fighting, urban Search and Rescue, back-country Search and Rescue, damage assessment, live video down-link to Emergency Operations Centers, Command and Control, Radio Relay, equipment and personnel transport.