Announcing the Erickson Skycrane and Dedicating the LAFD West Hills Helispot to the late LAFD Chief Pilot Glenn Smith
Posted by Councilmember Englander on August 07, 2015 at 12:00 PM
On Monday, I was pleased to join Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph Terrazas and the West Hills Neighborhood Council to dedicate the West Hills helicopter landing area in honor of former LAFD Chief Pilot Glenn V. Smith, who passed away in 2011 after a battle with cancer. The West Hills site is one of the City’s 32 helispots which serve as landing areas that allow LAFD helicopters to quickly take on fuel and water when fighting wildfires and provide a suitable area from which to evacuate medical patients during wilderness incidents.
Simultaneously, they announced the beginning of the Fire Department’s annual $3.5 million 150-day contract for the Erickson “Helitanker,” a large helicopter capable of dropping 2,600 gallons of water, more than 7 times the amount of LAFD helicopters, at a time on wildfires.
Pilot Glenn Smith was twice awarded the LAFD’s Medal of Valor during his long career with the Department and was the first African American pilot at the Los Angeles Fire Department.
With more than 20 fires currently burning in California, I am so grateful that our region has access to this vital equipment which will help our firefighters save lives and property.
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-Mitchell Englander, Chair of the Public Safety Committee