On Friday, May 17, 2013 at 3:30 am, Winnipeg Police Service Patrol Members, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Water Rescue and Air1 responded to the Assiniboine River near the Polo Park area regarding a female in the river in need of assistance.
Emergency crews subsequently observed the female in the middle of the river being carried downstream by the fast-moving eastbound current. Due to extremely cold water, hazardous flood stage river conditions and poor visibility due to the time of day, rescue efforts proved to be extremely difficult.
Members of the WPS Flight Operations Unit (Air1) were deployed to assist rescue crews.
By utilizing the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera and Nightsun spotlight, Air1 quickly located the female and directed water rescue members to her location. Due to coordinated efforts of all Emergency Services involved, including the high-tech capabilities of Air1, the female victim was rescued with minimal risk to Police, Fire and EMS personnel.
WPS Public Information Officer Constable Eric Hofley advised the Police Insider the female victim did not require hospitalization and there were no reported injuries.
Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) – a gyroscopically stabilized camera with zoom as well as thermal imagery capability which tracks people or evidence by heat signatures
Nightsun (Spotlight) – a 30 million candle power light that can be slaved to the thermal imagery camera
Police Radios – Allow for communications with all agencies and frequencies
Moving Maps – A GPS based moving map system that lets the Tactical Flight Officer know where they are to give accurate directions to ground units
Public Address System – Powerful loudspeaker to address public gatherings
Rear View Monitor – Allows those in the rear to see exactly what the Tactical Flight Officer sees, used for training and strategic ride-a-longs.
Dual Controls – Permits flight training to occur within the aircraft
Video Downlink – Enables transmission of live aerial video feeds to a police or fire department supervisor on the ground.