Coulson Aviation secures significant contract for year-round firefighting in Southern California

December 5, 2023

Coulson Aviation, a leader in aerial firefighting technology, has been awarded a significant $16 million contract to bolster wildfire suppression efforts in Southern California.

This vital contract, announced on November 29, 2023, extends Coulson Aviation’s support of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) throughout 2024, with a potential continuation into 2025.

Robust wildfire suppression support

The QRF, a highly effective wildfire suppression program, is instrumental for the fire departments of Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties.

It activates immediately at the first sign of a wildfire, day or night.

Coulson Aviation has a longstanding partnership with Southern California Edison (SCE), marking its sixth year of collaboration to support the QRF and its second year of providing 24/7/365 support.

Innovative aerial firefighting capabilities

Coulson Aviation brings to the table over 700 hours of flight experience with the QRF, with 60% of these operations conducted at night using night vision goggles (NVGs).

Impressively, the company has deployed more than 4.5 million gallons of water on nearly 200 wildfires, with every fire being successfully contained during its initial burn.

Coulson’s NVG firefighting, recognized for its high demand and risk, is made safer through immersive training, advanced targeting systems, and superior tanking systems, enhancing their operational capabilities during nighttime.

Advanced aerial fleet and technology

This contract includes three Boeing CH-47 Chinook Very Large Helitankers, a Sikorsky S-76 intelligence and recon helicopter, along with full flight and maintenance crews.

These aircraft, equipped with NVGs, operate round the clock.

Coulson’s CH-47 Chinook Helitankers feature the RADS-L delivery system, the world’s largest fixed helicopter tank, boasting a 3,000-gallon capacity and the ability to hover fill in just 90 seconds.

Additionally, Coulson developed the world’s largest retractable snorkel, further enhancing their efficiency in firefighting operations.

FSJA Comment

Coulson Aviation’s $16 million contract with Southern California’s Quick Reaction Force marks a significant advancement in aerial firefighting capabilities.

This collaboration highlights the importance of state-of-the-art technology and experienced operations in combating wildfires, especially in regions prone to such disasters.

Coulson’s contribution, particularly their night NVG firefighting and advanced helitankers, plays a crucial role in providing rapid and effective responses to wildfires.

Their innovative approach not only ensures greater safety and efficiency but also demonstrates the evolving landscape of emergency response and disaster management.

As climate change continues to influence the frequency and intensity of wildfires, such partnerships become increasingly vital in safeguarding communities and natural resources.

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