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Helicopter Rescue Team to Train with Portuguese Air Force


CONTACT: Shari Ireton, Director of Communications, 425-388-3377, Media line:  425-249-6263

Three members of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Rescue Team (HRT) will travel to Portugal this week to conduct joint rescue training with the 751 Rescue Squadron, the helicopter unit of the Portuguese Air Force.

The three volunteers, HRT Coordinator Oyvind Henningson, Helicopter Rescue Technician Miles Mcdonough, and Flight Medic Brian Schleicher, will be attending the week-long joint training at Montijo Air Base, east of Lisbon.  The rescue training will include hoist, operational procedures, rigging operations, specialized rescue equipment, and medical procedures.

“It’s a unique opportunity,” said chief pilot Bill Quistorf. “They’ll examine the differences and similarities between our helicopter rescue operations. The squadron may be doing rescue procedures that we aren’t even thinking about that will help our program.”

Members of HRT met the 751 Rescue Squadron when both units were award recipients of the Helicopter Association International’s “Salute to Excellence” this year in Orlando, Florida.

751 Rescue Squadron is made up of air force and navy assets and operates over a 2.3 million-square-mile territory, an area approximately three-quarters the size of the continental United States.

HRT volunteers are funding this joint training and no county funds are being used for expenses.