SFD firefighters rescue patients in areas that are extremely remote or inaccessible because of challenging topography.

In cooperation with the Aviation Bureau of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, SFD has assembled a Short Haul Team. These team members rappel from DPS helicopters to assess, treat, and package the patient; they then fly the patient to a location where they can be easily accessed by other rescuers. These life-saving steps are critical to the survival of many patients because they forego the time-consuming extrications associated with ground-based rescues.

Our Short Haul Team works in conjunction with the Air Rescue Helicopter (Ranger) to provide a range of services — search, rescue, transport, and advanced emergency medical services — for critically injured or ill patients. The DPS helicopter and highly trained crews are a key component of this service.

Because of the inherent risks involved, short haul rescues are performed only in dire circumstances.