Whaling Fire Line Equipment, February 26, 2019 - RASS, Remotely Activated Snorkel Site, Heli-Hydrants provide helicopter pilots with easily accessible water during wildland fire potentially saving crucial minutes and even seconds. And in a windy wildland fire, seconds count.
RASS is the next step in helicopter firefighting technology.
A Force Multiplier for Fire Threatened Communities
In today’s common practice, when a pilot cannot find a water source, ground crew support becomes necessary. RASS allow helicopter pilots to access water independent of a support crew.
Each Heli-Hydrant System operates unmanned leaving ground crews to engage fire.
By integrating RASS technology into already existing municipal water systems, water system engineers are able to strategically place RASS units in the environment, providing helicopters with accessible Heli-Hydrant sites to access water in order to fight fires in wildland interface communities.
RASS Heli-Hydrant Systems stand by until needed. During use, Heli-Hydrants provide snorkeling helicopters with a basin or dip tank to draw water from to aid in wildland fire suppression. When not in use, the Helicopters-Hydrant is dry.
Heli-Hydrant technology reduces costs; Helicopter fleet maintenance is reduced due to less rotor time, fire departments suppress fire sooner and keep fires smaller, communities benefit by paying for infrastructure that stays in their area providing water near local homes when needed.
Benefits of the RASS Heli-Hydrant System Technology
- Helicopter fleet maintenance is reduced due to less rotor time.
- Fire departments suppress fire sooner and keep fires smaller.
- RASS Heli-Hydrants stand by until needed. During use, Heli-Hydrants provide snorkeling helicopters with a basin/dip tank to draw water from to aid in wildland fire suppression.
- When not in use, the basin/tank is dry. For this reason, Heli-Hydrants are safer for wildlife and humans than traditional tanks.
- Dependent on terrain and/or community preference, options for RASS Heli-Hydrants are metal tanks or concrete basins in a variety of natural colors. Every RASS Heli-Hydrant features remotely activated, helicopter pilot controlled, radio signaled supply and trickle drain valves. Over all, loss of power has minimal effect on operations. Redundancy has been built into the system and includes; the municipal power supply, a rechargeable solar batteries, a solar power recharging system, manual option.
- Given the dynamic nature of fire, impacted communities need as many water source options as possible for helicopters to access. Strategically placed, Heli-Hydrants allow helicopters to snorkel water from more locations then are currently available.
- Cities can successfully magnify the water dropping capability of helicopters with RASS Heli-Hydrants.
The Remotely Activated Snorkel Site (RASS) system was first successfully tested on June 11 2018 in the city of Anaheim, California by the Anaheim Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), and OC Parks when a pilot remotely turn on the water and fill the helicopter’s water tank from the air.