Wanted: New chopper for Metro Search and Rescue | News
LAS VEGAS -- The warmer weather has drawn more locals and tourists to hiking spots around the valley, but more and more people are also getting injured and stranded during their hikes.
"It's definitely life and death every time we come out here,” said Sgt. Nate Anderson, Las Vegas Search And Rescue.
So far this year, Metro's Search and Rescue team has been deployed 59 times at about $460 an hour; that's how much the agency says it cost to launch the chopper each time.
Metro said the rescue helicopters were built in the 70's, so each helicopter is around 40 years old.
"Obviously, it's been kept up, and it looks really good, but we're talking about a 40-year-old aircraft,” said Sgt. Anderson.
The agency said it needs a new helicopter. Clark County has previously always picked up the tab for rescue helicopters, despite the fact that most rescues happen on federal land.
Clark County said its money is scarce. Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said he couldn't believe the county was being asked to pay for a new helicopter when many rescues happen on national and federal land in the c areas.
"I was like $12 million for a helicopter?! Are you kidding," said Sisolak? "I honestly feel the federal government, the BLM and the Department of Interior that own this land, should be paying for that helicopter.”
Sisolak said he went to Senator Harry Reid, D-NV, and Reid plans to ask the Department of Interior for help. Until then, it's unclear when Metro's Search and Rescue team will get their new helicopter.