MEDFORD, Ore -- A type one helicopter is currently based in Medford at Erickson Incorporated.
A senior firefighting pilot believes these types of helicopters are much more effective when it comes to firefighting. Kenny Chapman says the Worthington Fire is a great example of everybody working together with different types of aircraft. There were air tankers, smaller helicopters holding buckets of water and this type one helicopter.
Type one helicopters can hold about 2,000 gallons of water. "They are a great tool, because of the sheer volume of water they hold and the versatility." said Chapman. As a pilot he can decide to drop the thousands of gallons of water at once or string it out. "Unlike just dropping the water on the fire, we having varying levels we can drop it at based on the fuel model." said Chapman.
Chapman says type one helicopters can be used for initial attacks, support or anything they want on the fire. This is why they are called to fires across the country. "These are national resources under the Forest Service. They can turn around and send us anywhere tomorrow, today, or within an hour as needed." said Chapman.
This is why it is so beneficial to have this type of aircraft on stand-by in our region. The aircraft is on a 90 day contract. Chapman believes that contract will be extended.