Airbus Helicopters, March 05, 2015 - ORLANDO, Florida (March 5, 2015) – For its work conducting critical life-saving rescue missions, the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team, based in Everett, Wash., has been awarded the Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award.
The Golden Hour Award recognizes the efforts of an individual, group or organization that over time has advanced the use of helicopters in the vital mission of air medical transport. The award was presented Wednesday at the Helicopter Association International Salute to Excellence awards banquet, held in conjunction with HAI's Heli-Expo 2015 conference and trade show.
"Trauma doctors refer to the golden hour as the critical time between when an injury occurs and treatment begins. Receiving treatment within the first hour significantly improves one's chance of survival," said Chris Dancy, spokesman for Helicopter Association International, which presents the award. "Time and time again, the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team has saved lives."
Led by Chief Pilot Bill Quistorf, the helicopter team is staffed by four Sheriff's deputies and more than 30 trained volunteers, including pilots, crew chiefs, rescue technicians and medics. Each year, it conducts roughly 80 search and rescue missions, many of them in difficult mountain conditions, across western Washington. The team, which is part of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, received national attention in 2014 for several dramatic rescues. They included:
- On March 22, the helicopter team led the rescue of several residents, including a 4-year-old boy, trapped in the deadly Oso mudslide. The team was one of the first rescue groups to arrive on scene in the hours after the mudslide occurred. Video of the boy's rescue quickly went viral.
- In June, the rescuers received a report of a stranded hiker clinging to the side of a mountain more than 5,000 feet high in nearby King County. The team lowered one of its members, who secured the climber, and both were hoisted to the helicopter.
- On Sept. 3, the Snohomish team was dispatched to rescue an injured hiker who had fallen 50 feet from the 6,600-foot level of Mount Pugh in the Cascade Mountains. Weather conditions initially prevented the helicopter from reaching the hiker, but the team was eventually able to hoist the man, who suffered a skull fracture, broken back and severe head lacerations, among other serious injuries.
"In my 43 years of flight, last year was the most challenging I have experienced," Quistorf said. "I am tremendously proud of our team, and we are honored and thrilled to receive the Golden Hour Award."
A selection committee comprised of members of the Helicopter Association International's Board of Directors selected the team as the recipient of the Golden Hour Award.
For more information on Airbus Helicopters industry leading air medical service aircraft and other products, stop by Airbus Helicopters Booth #2437 at Heli-Expo 2015 in Orlando.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry's most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company's headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.