A member is pointing at the scenery while piloting the Air 1 helicopterThe Lower Mainland Traffic Safety Helicopter Program is the result of a partnership among the BC Government, the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC), RCMP and police departments in the Lower Mainland.

The two helicopters in the Program, called Air 1 and Air 2, are tasked to enhance and support the Lower Mainland police in their efforts to reduce injuries and deaths on our roadways as part of the National Road Safety Vision 2010. They 

  • reduce police response time,
  • provide an aerial perspective to ground units for perimeter containment and observation,
  • enhance public and police officer safety during emergency responses to crimes in progress, police pursuit and search and rescue operations, and
  • provide an effective crime reduction tool due to their patrol capabilities and "presence".

Video Description: This video features Constable Baker speaking about the Air 1 program. It shows footage of Air 1 on the ground, taking off, and patrolling the skies around the Lower Mainland.

Air 1 and Air 2
  • Transcription[A member stands by Air 1, parked on the helipad.]

    Constable Baker: Hi, my name is Cst. Casey Baker.

    I'm a tactical flight officer with the Lower Mainland Traffic Safety Helicoptor.

    Today, we are going on patrol on Air 2 and see what's going on.

    So, why don't you come along with us and we'll tell you more about what it is that we do.

    [Members board Air 1 and prepare for their flight.]

    [Air 1 prepares for take off.]

    Dispatcher: Just wondering if you're able to help us out with a missing 9 yr.

    old?

    Cst. Baker: 10-4.

    We're just getting started and when we're airborne, we'll give you a shout on Coquitlam channel.

    Dispatcher: Sounds good.

    Thank you.

    [Wide shot of Vancouver’s city centre.]

    Cst. Baker: So we are on our way to Coquitlam for a 9-yr old who was last seen about an hour ago in a recreation centre in Coquitlam.

    Don't really have any info.

    on him, but we have a description of him.

    You heard me asking about what he was wearing.

    That's important from the air in the day time because we are about 1000 - 1500 ft and we are looking for a little kid.

    So clothing is important if we can get it.

    We'll see what we're looking at when we get there.

    [Pilots are looking at a Global Positioning System.]

    This is the moving map system that we talked about before.

    It speaks to the GPS of the helicopter.

    It's a computer system that tells us where we are.

    I got an address for the recreation center and entered it into the computer.

    [Wide shot of a commercial area.]

    It gives us the course.

    So, these lines that extended off the end here that show us where we need to go and the direction we need to turn.

    Dispatcher: He's apparently at a Safeway by his grandmother's house.

    So, I'm just gonna confirm with the mother and the father's gonna be ...

    on the way.

    [Pilots are viewing the area with a magnifying camera.]

    Cst. Casey: I can use the daylight camera to look in front of the Safeway.

    We are about a 1000 ft above ground rigth now.

    I can zoom right in and look at the front door of the Safeway.

    Cst. Casey: The daylight camera is very good.

    Where it shines through is in the dark.

    [Wide shot of a house using night vision.]

    It compares the surface temperature of the different objects it's looking at and translate those differences in temperature into a black and white picture that we can use.

    Literally, you can see in the dark.

    If someone thinks he is hiding, when in fact we are looking right at him.

    Dispatcher: It looks like the dumped vehicle is an older model Chev pick-up truck, and there's a gas tank in the box of the truck.

    Cst. Casey: A truck, they are still trying to determine whether it was stolen or not.

    [Wide shot of a field with a suspect vehicle.]

    For some unknown reason, it bashed into a fence, went into the field and the driver jumped out and ran.

    There are some members in an apartment in the area.

    The police dog is searching the brush and the yards in the area.

    [Wide shot of a residential area.]

    [A pilot in the cockpit using binoculars.]

    We are also searching using the binolculars, trying to see if there's someone matching that description, prowling about.

    Dispatcher: 5-10.

    Confirming custody?

    RCMP member: 10-4.

    Buchshot's in custody.

    [Wide shot of an intersection.]

    Cst. Casey: Looks like what happened is this fellow ran away from the truck.

    Just as we were arriving, a member saw him.

    He ran into a rooming house in Whalley.

    He remained inside the house while the helicopter was circling the house.

    The goods news is, very safely, called him out of the house.

    He gave up.

    He's in custody.

    We are on to another call.

    No two calls are alike and no two days are alike.

    [Air 1's instruments.]

    Just now, we went from an innocent 9 yr old boy that wandered away from his parents to an arguably bad dude that ran away from a car in Whalley and hid and was taken into custody.

    [Wide shot of a bridge and the surrounding industrial area.]

    You really never know what you calls you're going to get.

    [Air 1 lands on the helipad.]

    Visit www.bc.rcmp.ca to learn more about how the RCMP are keeping your community safe.

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