The Flathead County Sheriff’s Department is getting full use out of the Two Bear Air helicopter purchased by Whitefish Philanthropist Mike Goguen.
According to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry, the Two Bear Helicopter has become crucial not only in Search and Rescue efforts but of the search for suspects in a chase.
Curry says having the helicopter as another tool has allowed the department to see things that deputies may not on the ground.
The new chopper also has a thermal camera that in one case allowed them to find two suspects that eluded deputies by trying to hide under large trees.
“The FLIR on this helicopter, the camera system really has been a game changer for us, certainly for Search and Rescue and even in Law Enforcement situations where somebody runs, we have a pursuit, somebody hiding. The ability to actually detect a heat signature and get people into them is pretty universal for both law enforcement and search and rescue,” Curry said.
Curry tells us that every year, Flathead County has more search and rescue missions than any other area of the state.