The deputies aboard Falcon 30, the Placer County Sheriff Office’s helicopter, were kept busy recently, rescuing a downed pilot, an injured hiker, and an entire family and their dog.


While water-rescue training near Folsom Lake Friday evening, crew members noticed a pilot flying a parachute ultra-light aircraft. A short time later, the sheriff’s helicopter pilot witnessed the aircraft crash into the water, in the middle of the lake. They immediately flew to the pilot’s rescue and were able to perform a hoist rescue. The Sacramento man was uninjured – and grateful that Falcon 30 was nearby to rescue him.


After 10 p.m. Saturday night, while on routine patrol in Placer County, the Falcon 30 crew was advised by Sacramento law enforcement officials of a rafting accident on the American River near “Gilligan’s Island.” After a brief search of the riverbanks, they located the family of four that had been stranded for two hours, trying to get medical help. Following a medical assessment, it was determined a 13-year-old boy needed medical assistance. The boy and his mother were transported to fire crews on the ground. A return trip was made for the father, another teenager, and the family dog.


May 16, the air crew performed a medical rescue on Steven’s Trail in Colfax. The three-person team lowered a sheriff’s deputy/EMT on a hoist to the trail where a 66-year-old hiker had developed a medical issue. With the assistance of Cal Fire, the patient was hoisted to the helicopter on a back board for transport. The man was transferred to a waiting AMR ambulance in Colfax and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

*Sheriff’s Dept.