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US EMS and Police Helicopters


Sean Harrison
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I've been doing some research, but can't locate call signs used by Police and EMS choppers.

 

On FlightRadar24 I've managed to determine types etc, but the callsign is always "no callsign".

 

I can't seem to catch them on Live ATC either.

 

You guys seem to have so many different police levels all with their own choppers. I've focused on SUFFOLK County sheriff department who have 2 EC145 and 2 AS350.

 

Any idea where to find actual call signs?

 

Also been watching LAPD on west coast. N662PD AS350 callsign ?

 

LA County Sheriff N960LA AS350 callsign?

Sean

C1/O P3

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Usually these callsigns are covered under a Letter of Agreement with the primary working facility. I'll see what I can dig up for you.

Ryan Geckler - GK | Former VATUSA3 - Division Training Manager

VATSIM Minneapolis ARTCC | FAA Miami ARTCC 

Cross the Pond Planning Team

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Hi Sean,

 

As Ryan stated, the callsigns differ depending on the PD/organization. I've heard department's in western US use "Police [#]". In MA, the State Police use "State Police Helicopter [#]". Also in MA, Boston MedFlight uses "MedFlight [#]".

 

Just thought I'd chime in with a few of the ones I know off the top of my head.

 

Thanks,

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  • Board of Governors

Haven't heard much regarding police but in eastern Pennsylvania the main hospitals have an LOA with the primary facilities they go through. They use MEDEVAC# here. An interesting thing they have here is that they have a predetermined squawk code, for each specific helicopter, with the overlying facilities so there is no need to give a squawk code so it is very easy to identify them and pick them up on radar.

Nick
Vice President - Supervisors
VATSIM Board of Governors

Contact the Supervisor Team | Could you be a Supervisor?

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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

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Thanks for the info so far.

 

I had noticed especially in LA area that some of the choppers always had same squawk code.

 

I think the LA sheriff A332 Super Puma is using RSCU5, which is the name of their SAR aviation unit.

Sean

C1/O P3

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If you are listening to Live ATC, your best bet are the secondary LGA and JFK channels. The police choppers are online all the time and you will also get to hear traffic that fly in the Exclusion Zone. You can usually find them on LGA 126.05 and on one of the JFK TWR frequencies. I don't remember which.

 

As far as the Suffolk helicopters are concerned, you will need to listen to ISP TWR and just get lucky. They don't get on the air regularly enough that you can count on when to catch them. But good luck in your search!!

__________

Ira Robinson

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  • 1 month later...

Maryland State Police are "TROOPER1" through "TROOPER8".

 

Baltimore City Police are "FOXTROT1" through "FOXTROT3".

 

I used to dispatch for Baltimore County but for the life of me I can't remember theirs. Might just be "COUNTY-AIR1" through "COUNTY-AIR3".

 

Not sure why you want to know, particularly, but if you plan to simulate any of these, be reminded that they qualify as VSO flights and thus should be conducted under the umbrella of a VATSIM VSOA organization. See viewtopic.php?f=8&t=71571 for the most recent forum discussion about this.

Cheers,

-R.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Being a former air medical communicator from a busy flight program with two helicopters, one helicopter was based at the hospital on the west side, not far from a large Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C airport, and the other was based pretty much on the eastern side of the airspace at another smaller Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D field. The ATCT at the nearby Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C was familiar enough with them they'd use the callsign of the program, Life Flight, while the others in the area, Air Care and Mobile would utilize theirs also. Keep in mind, these helicopters also transit this airspace upwards of 4-5 times per helicopter per 12 hours. However, outside of this area they'd often use Medevac (Sometimes still using the program callsign). Majority of the times, when they are not currently on a medevac call, they'll go out of their way to avoid airspace, and to avoid talking to controllers. We have access to real time GPS tracking of these helicopters (location, history, altitude, airspeed, etc) that's overlayed on both google street maps, sat maps, and also sectionals, so we'd watch them bounce around between airspace, and under and over shelves.

 

 

Edit:

Also, outside of normally published UNICOM frequencies, they'd communicate via a UNICOM that was for helicopters only in the area and for the most part was unpublished in common places, but utilized in the area by operators in the area. If you have a scanner, scan the aviation band frequencies and you can sometimes catch them there. We would monitor both the fixed wing unicoms and the helicopter unicoms as a backup to anything our pilots may not have heard in the area due to not being in the aircraft and the somewhat expedited nature of their arrivals and departures. Additionally, if you're able to find if your county has a designated public safety channel for helo operations, scan there. They'll almost 100% of the time check in with their designated program callsign. Also, check flightaware for their tail number, and see if they picked up an IFR flightplan (MANY programs are VFR only, very few are IFR capable.) If they picked up an IFR flightplan, they'd of have to talked to a controller, so scroll thru the LiveATC.net archives for the facility and you should be able to hopefully find something.

ALEX LONG
DEVELOPER
VATSIM TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT TEAM
## [email protected]
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Thanks Alex, good insight.

 

I've been moving around in CONUS (chasing event so) and like most things there appears to be a huge variety of procedure and experience with VFR and helos by ATC. Recently I had to hover taxi to hold short of a runway for departure, I started at the opposite end of the facility. (Good practice actually). Even the transition between airspace seems to be treated differently.

 

Listening to live ATC has been good. Whilst often not technically correct in terminology and procedure, it is still good to see what happens in the real world.

 

Pity we don't have more helicopters on VATSIM.

Sean

C1/O P3

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