March 12, 2019 (Anchorage, Alaska) – Earlier this year, the department procured hardware and software updates for the two A-Star helicopters, located in Anchorage (Helo-3) and Fairbanks (Helo-2). Last year alone, the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers participated in 535 search and rescue operations. The technology will greatly improve search and rescue capabilities and has already assisted in saving lives since being installed in January of this year.
“Since outfitting the helicopters last month, we have already had some good saves,” said Col. Doug Massie, the Director Alaska Wildlife Troopers. “The bottom line is this equipment will save lives. It allows us to be more efficient, to do a better job with our limited resources.”
Even the most prepared Alaskan adventurer can find themselves in a situation where they need help. To increase your safety in the backcountry, before heading out for adventure, verify that you have what you need for the planned excursion. Check your gear to ensure it is appropriate for weather conditions. Also take along emergency provisions for if you have to stay out longer than expected. Bringing a functioning communication device is also highly encouraged for all backcountry endeavors. Most importantly, give a responsible party a detailed trip plan so if you don’t come home when you are scheduled to, they know where to send help.
Video of a recent search and rescue mission can be found online in: Media Resources/Video/DPS Helo Camera Technology “SAR-Hatcher-Pass-2019-02-10” https://dps.alaska.gov/ast/pio/mediaresources