The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) has taken delivery of its first of three AW139 helicopters. The October 13 handoff included a small ceremony at Miami Executive Airport (TMB) in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Officials from the County, including Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, spoke at the event.
“As a former firefighter, I’ve been very impressed with this world-class search-and-rescue helicopter,” said Mayor Giménez. “Replacing antiquated helicopters, the AW139 is a vital addition to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s fleet. They will provide a heightened level of safety and security for our Fire Rescue workers and those whose lives they work to save.”
MDFR ordered four AW139 aircraft in December 2019 for fire suppression, emergency medical services, and search and rescue missions. Each helicopter features a cargo hook, rescue hoist and Bambi bucket. The remaining three aircraft are expected to be delivered by the end of 2020.
MDFR operates 71 fire-rescue stations within unincorporated Miami-Dade County and serves 29 municipalities. Due to the scope of its rescue operations, Miami-Dade Air Rescue frequently provides mutual aid support to neighboring counties including Monroe, Collier, Broward and Lee.
Miami-Dade is the most populous county in Florida with over 2.7 million people and more than 2,000 square miles (larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware). From the coral reefs to the Everglades the unique subtropical environment of South Florida makes this area unlike any other in the United States.