The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue signed a contract for four Leonardo AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters. The aircraft will be used to perform a range of missions, primarily fire suppression, emergency medical services (EMS) and search and rescue (SAR). The helicopters will hold special equipment including a cargo hook, rescue hoist and Bambi bucket.
The first AW139 for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) is expected to be delivered from Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility in the third quarter of 2020. A 5-year support, maintenance and training package will be provided with the possibility of a further extension to a total of 15 years.
“The safety of our Miami-Dade Fire Rescue operations team and the well-being of the residents we serve is our greatest priority,” said Mayor Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade County. “For those reasons, the crashworthiness standards of the top-ranked Leonardo helicopters were a key factor in our County’s decision to award this contract.”
Gimenez continued to point to the purchase price, training services and support provided by Leonardo as key considerations in awarding the contract. Located along the southeast tip of the Florida peninsula, Miami-Dade is the most populous county in the state. It encompasses more than 2,000 square miles with one-third of the county located in Everglades National Park.
Leonardo explains, that because of the scope of its operations, MDFR is frequently requested to provide mutual aid support to neighbouring counties including Monroe, Collier, Broward and Lee.
Celebrating its 1000th delivery in September, Leonardo states the AW139 is the most successful global helicopter program in the last 15 years. The helicopter is currently used by more than 280 operators in more than 70 countries. The AW139 is used across many countries for firefighting, rescue and law enforcement duties including Italy, UK, Japan, South Korea and Australia, among others.