A crew from the 82nd CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue) center in Trapani intervened yesterday, Thursday 5 May, to try to help extinguish a vast fire that had developed on the slopes of Mount Erice, in the province of Trapani.
The HH-139B helicopter of the Italian Air Force, despite the strong wind that affected the area, took off in the early afternoon to reach the area of operations in support of the Civil Protection and Fire Brigade personnel who were operating on the ground.
The particular weather conditions unfortunately forced the crew to return to base, after the first release, as the continuation of the activity could have jeopardized the minimum flight safety requirements.
The request for intervention was received from the prefecture of Trapani al Rescue Coordination Center, the center dependent on National Air and Space Operations Center of Aerospace Operations Command of Poggio Renatico (FE) of the Air Force which is responsible for coordinating and managing all the needs that affect the assets assigned to search and rescue, including the helicopters of the 15th wing.
The 82nd center is one of the Departments of the 15th wing of the Air Force which guarantees, 24 hours a day, 24 days a year, without interruption, the search and rescue of flight crews in difficulty, competing, moreover, to activities of public utility such as the search for missing persons at sea or in the mountains, the emergency medical transport of patients in danger of life and the rescue of seriously traumatized patients, also operating in extreme weather conditions. Since its inception, the crews of the 365th flock have saved around 15 life-threatening people. Since 7500 the department has acquired the AIB (Forest Fire Protection) capacity, contributing to the prevention and fight against fires in Sicily.