News: New York Army National Guard helicopters conduct fire bucket training in Hudson River
CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. - New York Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crews will be conducting water bucket training in the Hudson River's Peakskill Bay area on April 23, 24 and 25.
New York Army National Guard helicopter pilots and aircrew use the buckets, known by the trademarked name of Bambi Buckets, to scoop up water from lakes and rivers and then dump the water on forest or wildfires.
The collapsible buckets, which are hung underneath the helicopters, can dump 560 gallons of water on a fire each time they are used. Each spring Army National Guard helicopter crew members and maintenance personnel retrain on how to attach the buckets to Black Hawk helicopters and then practice picking up water and dumping it.
The training is necessary because a bucket full of water weights two tons and helicopter pilots need to practice flying with that additional weight hanging under their aircraft in order to fly safely in an emergency.
Bambi bucket training is also going to be conducted on Long Island this week as well.
The New York Army National Guard employs helicopter firefighting equipment when local agencies request support through the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
The last time New York Army National Guard helicopters had to be employed in a firefighting role was in April 2008 when a series wildfire developed at Minnewaska State Park in Ulster County.