From Sgt. Jackson:

Only KCSO employees trained and certified in FAA Class D Human External Cargo will be used as Rescue Specialists. This means the person being inserted as the Rescue Specialist is the only person "qualified" to be on the hook alone, and the one who oversees the rescue operation from the ground. The Rescue Specialist (R/S) can take a SAR volunteer from the rescue site back to the helicopter if necessary in what we call a "double-up" procedure. There are no instances where we bring 2 people down from the helicopter to the rescue site at the same time. Insertions of SAR volunteers will be done from a landing, low hover or one-skid landing. At this time, we do not have a train the trainer program in order to certify our SAR HIT members. We hope to have that some time in the future as our team of certified members is quite small. Only KCSO employees, certified in HEC will be used as Hoist Operators…….period.

Having said all that, there may be an instance of extreme emergency for trained medical personnel to get on the ground to care for a critical patient if no other medical teams are there already. In this situation, our trained Systems Operator (S/O or Hoist Operator) will be responsible for getting the medic/doctor on the hook and to the ground safely. Only in dire circumstances will this procedure be used. If SAR volunteers (medically trained) are on the ground with a critical patient, we will bring a medic/doctor with us who can then care for the patient once inside the aircraft (if available), or bring the medically trained SAR volunteer up to the helicopter after the patient.

In regards to training with SAR volunteers, Scott Mac has provided a thorough outline of topics for discussion/training related to hoist rescues. I would like to incorporate some of these in the Basic Helo Safety Class presentation. Selection of HIT members will continue with scheduled field training to take place this summer. With my skeleton crew and summer vacations, this may be difficult to schedule but we will try to accommodate all HIT members. I anticipate interviewing for these positions at the end of this month.

Feel free to contact me with concerns or questions.

-Sgt. Sydney Jackson