INSIDE THE AVIATION DIVISION AT BSO

Broward Sheriff's Office: Public Information Office

PIO Number: 21-3-37

Date: March 30, 2021

​The Broward Sheriff’s Office utilizes many specially trained professionals such as deputies, firefighter/paramedics as well as units designed to provide maximum response efficiency in a variety of customary and unusual public safety situations. Among these is the BSO Aviation Division, which is a cooperative effort among the Department of Law Enforcement and Department of Fire Rescue & Emergency Services.


Law Enforcement Aviation Unit
BSO is the only agency servicing the 1.95 million residents and covering the 1,320 square miles of Broward County with airborne law enforcement support. Our mission is to efficiently and effectively provide the highest level of law enforcement service to the citizens, visitors and other public safety agencies within Broward County at a reasonable cost. On average, the unit conducts 3,325 missions a year consisting of approximately 2,000 flight hours. These missions resulted in more than 1,300 aircrew apprehensions in which the aircrew located suspects and directed ground units to their location. Click here to view video highlights from past missions.

The unit consists of two sergeant pilots, five deputy sheriff pilots, six deputy sheriff tactical flight officers and three mechanics. The aircrew utilizes tactics and technology while enhancing the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement personnel on the ground. The unit has the capability of performing many diversified missions including but not limited to: criminal search and apprehensions, search for missing/endangered persons, locating and recovering stolen vehicles and search and rescue operations in the Everglades and offshore, as well as the deployment and extraction of the SWAT Team, K-9 Unit and dive rescue personnel. The unit’s two aircrafts are each outfitted with a FLIR system, night vision capabilities, Nightsun SX-16 searchlight, moving map system and Lojack ™.

Air Rescue
BSO’s Air Rescue Unit provides advanced life support and medivac capabilities with two EC 135 Eurocopter helicopters that can provide transport for all Broward County municipalities and unincorporated areas. The unit is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with two flight paramedics and an EMT certified trained pilot. These flight medics provide advanced airway management and critical medical intervention for critically injured trauma patients and are capable of transporting injured patients from the scene of an incident to one of Broward County’s three trauma centers. Another new advancement is the ability to carry and administer whole blood onboard the airships. This advancement in clinical intervention is only provided on a few air medical transports in the nation and is cutting edge therapy to those patients who are critically injured. In addition, the Air Rescue Unit is utilized for interfacility transport of medical patients from a medical facility to a higher level interventional facility if needed, such as burn patients to a burn center or stroke patients, when time is of the essence. Air Rescue is also capable of performing search and rescue missions with their onboard FLIR system and Nightsun SX-16 searchlight. This broad spectrum of medical coverage providing a high level of advanced care is capable of performing in a wide range of areas, from congested metropolitan neighborhoods to the most remote confines of the Everglades and other offshore areas. On average, Air Rescue performs more than 140 missions annually.

THIS REPORT BY:
Veda Coleman-Wright/Dir. of PIO