SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – Authorities are promising to end an embarrassing feud that had helicopters from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and county Fire Authority squabbling over who should handle rescues.
A share-the-air plan announced Wednesday divvies up duties while emphasizing teamwork.
In the past year, authorities say pilots from the two agencies have regularly clashed – racing to rescue scenes and sometimes arguing while flying in the same airspace.
The new written protocol calls for a unified response and standardized responses to emergencies.
In general, sheriff’s helicopters will handle remote search-and-rescue missions and fire pilots will respond to medical rescues.
However, when a 911 call comes in, the chopper in the best position to handle it will respond.
Authorities say during a rescue, the name on the helicopter just doesn’t matter.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.