Senator McKinney, Representative Fawcett Seek Funding for Eagle One Rescue Helicopter

January 30, 2007

Senate Republican Leader Pro-Tempore John McKinney (R-Fairfield) and State Representative Kim Fawcett (D-Fairfield, Westport) testified today at the Public Safety and Security Committee hearing in support of House Bill 6348, authorizing bonds of the state in the amount of $150,000 for upgrades to the “Eagle One” search and rescue helicopter. The Eagle One helicopter provides life-saving resources as well as law enforcement and drug interdiction to any town that requests the service.

“It is a top priority of mine to ensure our police, fire and EMS professionals are outfitted with the best available equipment and apparatus,” said Senator McKinney. “Eagle One enables our first responders to react to emergency situations quickly, safely and effectively. I will seek quick approval of this funding which will ultimately help first responders save lives.”

“This is money well spent for services that are vital to municipal departments charged with the emergency health and safety of our citizens,” Rep. Fawcett said. “I await a similar assessment by my colleagues and will follow this closely through the legislative process.”

Eagle One, a surplus U.S. Army UH-1H Huey, was obtained at no cost by the Nelson-D’Ancona Foundation. The Foundation was created by family and friends as a result of a boating accident that claimed the lives Mr. Bruce Nelson and Mr. Tom D’Ancona in December 1991.

All members of the aircrew and board of directors, who staff the operation, are volunteers from various police, fire and EMS departments from around the state and all maintenance costs are covered by the foundation. Operational control for Eagle One has been recently relocated to the Fairfield Police Department.

Eagle One provides vital life saving services to every town and city 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To request Eagle One at anytime 24 hours a day, towns in need of assistance may call the Fairfield Police Department at 203-254-4808 and ask for the shift commander. This life-saving resource is available at no cost to any requesting agency.