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District 5

Metropolitan Air Support Unit Recognized by BernCo Commissioners


At its Oct. 29, 2019, administrative meeting the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners acknowledged the Metropolitan Air Support Unit for nearly 20 years of providing essential airborne public safety services to the community. The Metropolitan Air Support Unit exemplifies the true spirit of the collaborations with others in the performance of three missions.

Law enforcement support — The Metro Air Support personnel passionately assists local area law enforcement agencies by providing real-time aerial reconnaissance to provide potentially lifesaving information to responding law enforcement ground. The work of the air support team has resulted in hundreds of thousands of calls for service taken and thousands of apprehensions throughout the county and State of New Mexico.

Wildland firefighting — The air support team assists in protecting our forests, bosque, and open space areas by suppressing wildland fires with helicopter water drops. The Metro Air Support Unit has helped to fight dozens of wildland fires throughout the county and state of New Mexico.

Search and Rescue — In partnership with the Bernalillo County Fire Department and University of New Mexico Health Sciences, the Metro Air Support personnel provide an essential search and rescue response to the community. The Metro Air Support team of rescue personnel have responded to hundreds of search and rescue requests throughout the county and state of New Mexico resulting in many successful life-saving missions.

Now, the Metro Air Support Unit is internationally known. The team recently presented at the 2019 International Council for the Alpine Rescue conference in Zakopane, Poland. This recognition is born out of a relationship between Bernalillo County and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. The relationship between the two entities was the result of several tragedies. People were dying after being injured in austere environments and something needed to change in order to perform rescues. As a result, BCSO provides the helicopters, pilots, hoist operators, and operational management. UNM’s Health Science personnel provide technical mountain rescue expertise to facilitate collaborative training, assessment, and research.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Metro Air Support Unit makes our community safer and we can all rest knowing that these brave men and women are on the job for all of us.

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