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Snohomish County Search and Rescue Announces Acquisition of a New Helicopter Search System
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 29, 2021
CONTACT: Courtney O’Keefe, Director of Communications, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Courtney.O’Keefe@snoco.org, 425-388-3865, Media line: 425-249-6263
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team announce acquisition of a new helicopter-based search system that will increase rescuer safety and increase the odds of saving lives in the backcountry.
The RECCO technology is a two part-system featuring an active detector, which is carried by the helicopter, and a passive reflector, which is carried by the person needing rescue. Large search areas can be covered quickly by flying at 60 mph at a height of 300 feet while scanning a corridor approximately 300 feet wide until a signal is received. This equates to searching 250 acres in six minutes.
RECCO reflectors are incorporated in more than 200 leading outdoor brands including jackets, pants, helmets, boots, and harnesses for both winter and summer use. Reflectors can also be purchased individually and easily attached to any outdoor gear. Wearing a RECCO reflector increases searchability in the backcountry and reduces ground searchers’ exposure to risk due to avalanche hazards in the winter.
Snohomish County is the sixth agency in North America to be equipped with this technology; currently it is used in Utah, Montana, and British Columbia.