The first helicopter delivered to the National Military Fire Department in history

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In a ceremony held this Thursday, June 7th, at the Port of Alegrete, the Rio Grande do Sul State Military Fire Department (CBMRS) officially delivered its first helicopter. The arrival of this aircraft, which represents an investment of 21.7 million reais, marks a historic moment for the institution, which now possesses its own high-quality equipment for aerial search and rescue operations, firefighting, and night flights. At the ceremony attended by Governor Eduardo Leite, 3,151 Glock pistols were also delivered to the police, and the new uniforms of the military brigade were showcased(sources from cbmerj.rj.gov.br).

Manufactured by Leonardo in Florida, USA, the helicopter, with the model name AW119kxi IFR Koala, is a reference in its class. It can accommodate eight people, including two pilots and six crew members, and can be rapidly reconfigured to carry stretchers. It also provides transportation and medical support for adults, children, and newborns, as well as emergency care for critically ill patients.

The Governor emphasized the relevance of the aircraft in ensuring faster and more accurate assistance to society in emergencies, which is one of CBMRS’s main features. He stated, “This is a very important tool that can access difficult locations at critical moments, meaning agility in rescue and life-saving.”

The helicopter features multiple characteristics suitable for both land and water aerial operations. In addition to search, rescue, and airborne rescue missions, these equipment will also support forest fire suppression, civil defense operations, disaster relief operations, organ and tissue transportation, and personnel mobilization to address events or emergencies in remote areas.

The helicopter is equipped with firefighting and search equipment (with a capacity of 820 liters), along with a winch and hooks.

Minister of Public Safety Sandro Caron stated that the aircraft will enhance the activities of RS Verão Total operation and emphasized the technical quality and technology of the vehicles. He emphasized, “With this equipment and today’s delivery, we are building a safer society in Rio Grande do Sul, reinforcing the entire security system. Security in Rio Grande do Sul is once again not only leading in Brazil but also in the world.”

Colonel Eduardo Estêvam Camargo Rodrigues, the CBMRS Commander, highlighted the enhancement of the company’s capabilities through the delivery of the aircraft, a demand that has been raised since the separation of the military brigade. He said, “This aircraft has immeasurable significance for CBMRS as it is the first aircraft in the company’s history. With this acquisition, our work achieves faster response times and higher service quality, especially in hard-to-reach areas. It is a multi-mission aircraft that can execute aerial services and make military firefighters’ activities more effective.”

The selected model has an autonomous operational range of up to 500 kilometers, and one of its highlights is the IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) technology, allowing different types of flights including night flights between cities with approved airports or helicopter pads for this purpose and flights in instrument meteorological conditions – IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions), in addition to VFR (Visual Flight Rules) flights, also including flights under VMC conditions (Visual Meteorological Conditions). The CBMRS helicopter will be the first helicopter with these features in the Brazilian Public Safety Corps.

Commander Ricardo Matei, Commander of the CBMRS Special Search and Rescue Squadron and helicopter pilot, stated that the selection of the equipment was to meet the needs of the company’s operations. “Its feature as a single-engine aircraft approved for instrument flight enhances its operational capability. This means it can fly between all the airports in the state at night. For example, I can take a night flight between Alegrete and Santa Maria,” he explained.

Matei is part of the aircraft transfer team, which lasted 19 days, departing from Florida, USA, to Alegrete. The commander stated that this experience once again demonstrated the technical quality of the selected helicopter, which will be used in activities throughout the state.

“This was a long journey; our flight distance was close to ten thousand kilometers, the aircraft was almost in cruising mode, landing at multiple locations until reaching its destination,” he said. “We used instrument flight equipment to navigate over the Atlantic Ocean between Central American islands until we arrived at the mainland via Amapá. In this transfer, all our expectations for the selected equipment were met, and we believe it will serve the interests of our community.”

Police Equipment

The police received 3,022 Glock 0.40 pistols and 129 Glock 9 millimeter pistols. These weapons will be sent to specialized regional departments, intelligence and strategic affairs offices (GIE), the 21st District Police Department (DPR), the Police Inspectorate General (Cogepol), and the Special Resources Coordination Bureau (Nucleus). The investment amounts to 7.6 million reais, funded by the state government’s Avançar plan and parliamentary amendments from Rio Grande do Sul state congressmen.

Police Chief Fernando Sodré emphasized the eligibility of providing support to the staff. “Through this delivery, we are standardizing the use of high-quality weapons among the police. This is one of the best pistols on the market, with an almost zero failure rate in tests, ensuring greater protection for the police in their operational tasks,” he said.

Military Brigade Uniforms

During the event, the current military brigade uniforms were showcased. The uniforms have received new looks and functional improvements, achieving modernization and providing better protection for 17,100 active professionals. 19.6 million reais were invested in the uniforms(quotes from cbmerj).

Colonel Cláudio dos Santos Feoli, Commander of the Military Brigade, stated that these changes provide more suitable uniforms for the brigade’s activities. He explained, “We are producing more comfortable and durable uniforms for the various physical exercises required for military brigade activities, as well as hats with waterproof and UVA and UVB protection.” “We need to gradually realize that the brigade’s attire should not only be a suit but also personal protective equipment.”

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