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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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11/22/2012 9:50:00 PM
$70k corporate gift means new radio for Rescue-1
Scott Orr/Daily Courier
Sheriff Scott Mascher accepts a new, custom-built radio from Cobham Aerospace Communications general manager, John Payne.
Scott Orr/Daily Courier
Sheriff Scott Mascher accepts a new, custom-built radio from Cobham Aerospace Communications general manager, John Payne.
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - One of the most important tools a search-and-rescue helicopter can have is an advanced radio so the crew can talk to ground crews and other aircraft from different agencies.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) helicopter, Sheriff's Rescue-1 has been hampered by a lack of that kind of communications gear. Since YSCO took delivery of the Robinson R-44 in January, crews have had to plug a handheld radio into their headset to talk to ground searchers.

"We have to actually bring a portable police radio" in the helicopter, said YCSO Lt. Jeff Newnum. "It works okay, but it doesn't have the range or the distance we need."

Wednesday, Sheriff Scott Mascher accepted a donated RT-5000 radio from Cobham Aerospace Communications. The $72,000 radio was custom-built for YCSO, and can be upgraded as technology changes.

"We would never have been able to afford to purchase this on our own," Newnum said.

Cobham's General Manager, John Payne, said the company was pleased to be able to help the fledging YCSO helicopter program.

"We were looking to develop our links with the community a little bit more," he said. "With the vastness of the space you cover here (in Arizona), and how difficult it is for these guys to do their job, we just felt that anything we could provide that would help that life-saving mission would be a benefit to the community."

Newnum said the gift also fits nicely into the Mascher's stated plan to operate the helicopter at no cost to Yavapai County taxpayers. "We have flown 36 missions with this aircraft in the last 11 months. We have actually saved six or seven lives," Newnum said."

Rescue-1 means YCSO doesn't have to wait for a DPS helicopter when there's a missing person search underway, The DPS Ranger helicopters are larger and more powerful Bell 407 jet helicopters, but they have become less available for YCSO searches. The original issue was whether they were busy, or could get here from Flagstaff or Kingman quickly enough, but now, Newnum said, state-level budget constraints have required DPS to cut back on flight staff.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Andre Leonard

Sheriff Mascher is to be commended for operating and supporting the helicopter program at sheriff's office.

Air support is essential in public safety operations, search & rescue, supporting patrol, observing critical infrastructure in emergencies.

Most agencies would love to have this capability but cannot afford it. There was a time when you could count on the Arizona DPS, but those times are over.

There are Arizona sheriff's today that would love to have a helicopter but cannot afford it. The availability to get in the air and coordinate ground units in the least amount of time came be the difference between life and death.

I am impressed that the citizens of Yavapai county now have a dedicated multi-band radio that Cobham, a leading provider of public safety radios has agreed to donate to the county.

Los Angeles Police and Sheriff's use these same Cobham radios in their helicopters.

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: personal use

To those county residence that dont know sheriff masher is a hunting guide. Lets hope the helicopter dont get used to scout for his clients.

Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012
Article comment by: Dave Bradley

Good Grief.

Did the YCSO hire a new PR dept head?

Two "Our helicopter is costing you nothing" articles in the same issue.

C'mon, least space them out a little so you are not so obvious.

Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012
Article comment by: 1st to say: GREAT JOB!!!! THANK YOU SHERIFF MASCHER.

Another great supporter of our community. THANK YOU Cobham. It is support from companies like you and Guidance Aviation that make Yavapai County such a great place to raise my family.

Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012
Article comment by: How soon Sheriff Mascher forgets. We bought this thing!

Hopefully not just a boy toy. He says he will, "...operate the helicopter at no cost to Yavapai County taxpayers." Remember this. A clever local helicopter company donated the old, broken helicopter to the department. Took a huge tax deduction. And then charged the county, what was it?, $250,000 to make it flyable. Not exactly no cost in my book.

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