American Eurocopter today announced the purchase of an EC135â„¢ helicopter by the Broward County Sheriffâ€™s Office (BCSO) in Florida, the third EC135 in its fleet and the fourth Eurocopter aircraft overall.
The BCSO helicopter is an eye in the sky for deputies on the street and a vital lifesaving tool in medical emergencies. Last year BCSO helicopters flew 3,557 total missions, contributing to 498 arrests, and transporting 214 seriously injured patients to local trauma centers.
Two of BCSO’s EC135 helicopters were built in 1999 and the third helicopter, an EC130, was built in 2003. The addition of the fourth aircraft will allow mechanics to rotate the helicopters for maintenance and extend the life of the fleet by spreading the total flight time between more aircraft.
â€œWe’ve flown our aircraft nearly 8,000 hours,” said Sgt. Dale Owens, who heads up the BCSO aviation unit. â€œThe new helicopter will allow BCSO to safely stay on top of police and medical emergencies in Broward County, and we will not have to hire new pilots or mechanics to do it.â€
The Broward County Sheriffâ€™s Office introduced the EC135 in U.S. law enforcement service, equipping the helicopter with a Night Sun illumination system, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera and LO-JACK tracker.
The EC135 is one of the most popular twin-engine law enforcement helicopters worldwide, combining excellent twin-engine performance with a low noise signature, approximately 7 db below ICAO standards. This level represents a perceivable noise reduction of approximately 50 percent compared to older-generation helicopters in the same category â€“ which is of particular importance to customers regularly flying over cities and in densely-populated areas, including emergency medical services and law enforcement agencies. The EC135â€™s unobstructed cabin, large rear clamshell doors and flat floor allow for easy reconfiguration.
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