Rescue (Long Line)
The helicopter unit uses a rescue technique known as long line rescue. The technique, oversimplified, is to attach one end of a 50, 100, or 200 foot rescue line to the external cargo hooks of the helicopter, and the opposite end of the rescue line to the crew member(s) executing the physical rescue. The pilot flies the rescuer to the victim, the rescuer secures the victim – the pilot, rescuer, and victim fly to a safe area where further medical attention can be provided if necessary. The advantages of this technique are numerous. It puts two rescuers on the ground, it is extremely accurate, and it is exponentially faster than other extrication techniques – especially if multiple victims need to be rescued.
All these factors minimize exposure to inherent dangers to the pilot, the rescuer, and the victim. The crews that execute long line rescues are experts in this technique.