Austin's NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Austin

Travis County To Buy $2.4 Million Fire Fighting Helicopter

3699097057_3cdf75a5d9_b.jpg
Flickr user davidhofmann08, bit.ly/Qj4MVy
/

Travis County will spend $2.4 million on a helicopter to fight fires. County commissioners approved the purchase today.

The county already has three EC-145 helicopters, but Danny Hobby with Travis County Emergency Services says this UH-1H helicopter will be different.

“It’s specific to firefighting, which is a great benefit to us," says Hobby. "We found that during the Labor Day fires that we were limited in having [the state's] aircraft available to us, because the entire state was burning up. Now we’re going to have an aircraft available to us that is a fire aircraft.”

The UH-1H helicopter will be a military surplus helicopter that is refurbished in "like new" condition, according to Travis County. The aircraft will have a fixed tank capable of holding up to 350 gallons of water, compared to the detachable 130-gallon bucket in the EC-145s. 

Hobby says they hope to have the new UH-1H in operation by next summer. 

Related Content