Spokane Valley Police Chief-Undersheriff David Ellis Reelected for a Second Term as the Vice President of Airborne Public Safety Association Board of Directors
Spokane Valley Police Chief and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff David Ellis was recently reelected to a second two-year term as Vice President of the Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA) Board of Directors. Chief Ellis served as the APSA’s Western Regional Director for four years before being elected as Vice President two years ago. He has been a member of the APSA for fifteen years.
The Airborne Public Safety Association - APSA - is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational, individual membership organization founded in 1968 to support and encourage the use of aircraft in public safety. With over 3,000 members, from the international to the local level, the APSA provides networking systems, educational seminars, and product expositions that members find invaluable. https://publicsafetyaviation.org/
Locally, Chief Ellis serves as the Director of the Spokane Regional Air Support Unit, which was established in 2005. Since its inception, the Spokane Regional Air Support Unit has provided valuable search and rescue, fugitive searching, fire suppression, surveillance, homeland security critical infrastructure checks, natural disaster damage assessment, and patrol services to the Inland Northwest.
Currently, the SRASU operates two Bell OH-58s (Air 1 and Air 2), along with one Bell UH-1H Super Huey (Rescue 3). All three aircraft were acquired from government surplus programs.
The Spokane Regional Air Support Unit is comprised of Volunteer Pilots, Tactical Flight Officers (TFOs) from local law enforcement agencies, Helicopter Rescue Medics (HRMs), and certified EMTs from Spokane Valley Fire Department and Spokane City Fire Department.
TFOs: Deputies and Officers from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Valley Police Department, Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Spokane Police Department, and the Liberty Lake Police Department.
Air 1 and Air 2: Two OH-58’s equipped with Forward-Looking Infra-Red (FLIR), which allows aircrews to detect heat on the ground. FLIR can be used to locate both missing people and hiding fugitives. Air-1 and Air-2 are also equipped with a 30 million candle power searchlight, GPS moving map system, and the flight crews are equipped with night vision goggles. In addition, Air-1 is equipped with a downlink that transmits live video from the helicopter to the Mobile Command Vehicle. The microwave downlink allows police and fire staff to see real-time video from the helicopter and make timely decisions based on what they see.
Rescue 3: A Bell UH-1H Super Huey is equipped with a long line and hoist system for short-haul rescue missions. The long line and hoist system allow our Tactical Flight Medics and Tactical Flight Officers to be lowered from Rescue 3 in order to retrieve a citizen that is either injured or lost in remote areas. The primary mission for Rescue 3 is search and rescue.