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Bluedrop Awarded Two Hoist Mission Training System Contract by CAL FIRE

Bluedrop Training & Simulation Inc. (“Bluedrop”) through its sister company Bluedrop USA has been awarded a contract to provide two advanced Hoist Mission Training System (HMTS) for helicopter hoist operator training.

These acquisitions will support the recent addition of the 12 Sikorsky S70i CAL FIRE HAWK helicopters. The fixed full size HMTS will be deployed to CAL FIRE’s aviation training facility in McClellan, CA. The HMTS will be integrated with a flight training device to be able to provide full crew collective training for missions carried out both by the pilot crew and the rear crew. The other unit which is a Portable HMTS will be deployed to CAL FIRE’s training center and will be transportable to different CAL FIRE sites for recurrent training. It will house at the aviation training center when not in use at remote locations.

The CAL FIRE HAWK’s primary mission is responding to initial attack wildfires and rescue missions. The CAL FIRE HAWK is also equipped with an external hoist for rescue

missions. This specialized rescue technique involves highly trained firefighters being lowered from a hovering helicopter to an injured or trapped person below. Once secured to a harness or stokes basket, both the victim and rescuer are then hoisted into the helicopter and flown to a landing zone.

Bluedrop designed and developed the HMTS, a highly specialized, VR hoist simulator. The fully immersive, full haptics, high fidelity HMTS is unique and provides initial, recurrent and mission training capabilities for helicopter hoist operators working in complex environments and high-risk situations.

“On behalf of Bluedrop I am pleased to announce that we have been awarded a contract to provide training systems for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). This contract is of particular significance to Bluedrop as it represents a major milestone as our first sale to a US state government agency. We are proud to be a part of the CAL FIRE’s emergency services training to deliver world class training services to the CAL FIRE.”

Jean-Claude Siew, Vice President of Technology & Simulation, Bluedrop Training & Simulation

“The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is looking forward the transformation of their training with the full-size hoist at our training center. The portable hoist being transportable for onsite training will be a game changer.”


The team at California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) are dedicated to the fire prevention, fire protection and stewardship of over 31 million acres of California’s privately-owned wildlands. In addition, the Department provides varied emergency services in 36 of the State’s 58 counties via contracts with local governments.

About Bluedrop

Bluedrop provides products and services for advanced training solutions, including highly interactive courseware, state-of-the-art virtual, augmented and mixed reality training, technical publications, simulation products and in-service-support. Bluedrop is your partner of choice by bringing capabilities in R&D and innovative solution development.

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Ryan Mason
Ryan Mason
Ryan is an accomplished writer and aerial photographer that has worked in the aviation industry for over a decade before co-founding AerialFire Magazine. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Ryan is a former police officer that focuses his writing and photography efforts on para-public operations and agricultural aviation.

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