Home Photos “Dust Off, Dust Off… Put On MASH Theme Music And Make It...

“Dust Off, Dust Off… Put On MASH Theme Music And Make It Loud…”

Well, okay, not a hot LZ but a bunch of you folks spotted the CHP whirly over Bear Creek Road this afternoon and, no, it wasn’t Kilgore coming in to surf Charlie’s point.
The CHP crew was picking up an injured mountain biker, taking them to John Muir Hospital… so, nice pickup, boys.
Now, tell us who the pilot and co-pilot resemble ’cause we had our impressions!


  1. Anecdotally, I’ve seen or heard / read about many more mountain biker rescues in recent years.

    Base case thesis:

    TL/DR – Rescues are a function of descents, so e-Bike Adoption = More mountain bikers + More Outings * More assents per outing = More Injuries

    The rise of e-bikes reduced the fitness threshold, energy output and time needed for each uphill trip. So there has been both an increase in less-skilled AND older, more brittle mountain bikers enjoying our trail systems.

    Further, electrically assisted climbs take less time, thus allowing more downhill runs per outing (i.e., it takes my middle-age body a good hour of grinding to Briones peak, and I’m usually too exhausted for a second ascent; but I reckon I could do it in less than 15 minutes on an e-bike and still have plenty of energy left for additional climbs).

    Less-skillful and older riders are more accident and injury prone, and each descent entails some risk of a catastrophic crash. As such, I would intuitively expect that a correlation between e-bike adoption and mountain biker rescues.

    • Hi Jeff,

      A medical evacuation airlift is generally deemed necessary only when a patient needs urgent medical attention. In this case, the injured subject was located in a somewhat remote part of Briones Regional Park where rugged terrain and the patients condition precluded ground evacuation by EMS.

      The East Bay Region Park District Police Department (EBRPD PD)has primary jurisdiction over Briones Regional Park. The EBRPD PD has at least one airship, but it serves a vast area comprising much of the rugged open space throughout Alameda and CoCo Counties and is not scrabbled at all times. Perhaps it was down for maintenance; perhaps a pilot was not immediately available; perhaps it was dispatched to another incident or returning to base to refuel when the call came in.

      I do not know. I do know that whatever the reason, rescue crews determined that the patient’s condition required urgent medical evacuation.

      As you may recall from your days as a deputy, local authorities invoke mutual aid arrangements when local resources are not timely available to respond to exigent circumstances. That’s obviously what happened here. A CHP helicopter operated out of Napa is airborne regularly to patrol the East Bay’s freeways. Presumably it was in the vicinity and available to respond to the call for mutual aid.

      As an avid outdoor aficionado with an appetite for the occasional adrenaline kick (and generous medical benefits), I’m quite grateful to live where the first available resource responds to distress calls without regard to petty, territorial interagency politics.

      Teamwork makes the dream work!

  2. Campo,

    And where was the CoCo copter? And, then they should look to neighboring counties. This reliance on state resources is a mistake and I have flown helicopter rescues.

    Firestone 11R
    Malibu 100R

    • Hey Jeff – Since you asked, I reviewed flight radar records from the afternoon of March 26th. The CoCo County STARR helicopter landed at the scene but abruptly took off for what appears to be a pursuit assist mission in North Richmond before returning to CCR (presumably to refuel).

      Thereafter, the CoCo County STARR helicopter scrambled again, returning to the incident site in Briones. It was circling as the CHP airship landed and evacuated the injured subject to John Muir Hospital.

      While I don’t know why the CHIP chopper conducted the medi-vac operation or why the , CoCo airship didn’t — I we can all rest assured that a county resource was indeed available and deployed in response to this incident.

      • Campo,

        Very interesting. I would have thought the reverse should have occured. If the pursuit makes it to a freeway, the CHP normally takes over.

        Firestone 11R

Leave a Reply