Agency Press Releases

CHP News

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

(San Mateo County, CA)


On October 11, 2011, the crew of CHP Helicopter 32 (H-32) flew to the San Carlos airport to meet with the family of the 5 year old girl that they had previously located on October 1, 2011. The young girl had been on a camping trip with her kindergarten class and at approximately 7:30 pm, she wandered off into the densely wooded and rugged area of the hills of San Mateo County. H-32 responded to assist San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies, San Mateo County Search and Rescue members, and members of Bay Area Mountain Rescue (BAMRU) in locating the young girl. The little girl was wearing a chemical light (glow stick) necklace with an additional chemical light hanging from the necklace. Using helmet mounted night vision goggles, the crew of H-32 located a light source and directed rescuers to the area where the little girl was located shortly before midnight. The young girl had been missing for about 4 hours when she was located. There were numerous dangers facing the little girl lost in the woods including exposure to the elements, mountain lions, coyotes and the extremely rugged terrain in almost complete darkness.


The crew of H-32 (Pilot/Officer Lannis Pope and Flight Officer/Paramedic Al Romero) was able to meet the other rescuers involved in the search and rescue along with meeting the little girl, her twin little brothers and her very appreciative parents. 


Both CHP helicopters based at the Napa County Airport are equipped for Night Vision Goggle (NVG) operations, Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), and a 50 million candlepower NightSun spotlight. The CHP helicopters also have a hoist for daylight rescues where landing is not possible or feasible.  


The air unit, based at the Napa County Airport, operates four aircraft (two airplanes and two helicopters) which patrol approximately 6,923 square miles that incorporates a residential population of more than 7,150,000 people. The Helicopter is staffed with a

CHP Officer/Pilot and a CHP Officer/Paramedic.