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Santa Barbara County, CA, Sheriff's Office Reveals 'New' Helo

'Copter 3' Refurbished From A Military Surplus Aircraft

The Santa Barbara, CA, County Sheriff's Office has a newly-refurbished helicopter joining its fleet this week. Sheriff Bill Brown called the aircraft "a true multi-mission capable helicopter," which can support everything from air ambulance flights to firefighting.

Designated "Copter 3", the aircraft is actually the sixth helicopter in the county's fleet, according to a report from television station KSBY. At the christening ceremony at Santa Ynez Airport on Monday, Brown said the new helicopter was a "masterpiece" which would change the way his department can help the community.

The aircraft saw life as a military helicopter before being surplussed to the Jefferson County, CO, Sheriff's Office. After being acquired by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff, it was rebuilt "from the ground up," according to Brown.

But perhaps more importantly, he said, the aircraft and its refurbishment were paid for by private donations from the community. "No taxpayer dollars went into building this helicopter," Brown said.

Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team public information officer Valerie Walston said the new helicopter will provide a safe means of transporting patients, and that it is "critical for this county."

FMI: www.sbsheriff.org

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