(ENGLEWOOD, Colorado, August 16, 2021) – The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) announced today the signing of a contract with United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods Corporation, to complete and deliver a Sikorsky S70i FIREHAWK® helicopter.

Configured by United Rotorcraft with a 1,000-gallon water tank attached to the belly of the aircraft, an extended landing gear to accommodate the tank, a retractable snorkel than can refill the tank in less than one minute, and a rescue hoist, S70i FIREHAWK® helicopters are designed to stop fires in their tracks before they have the chance to grow. These helicopters will allow fire crews to aggressively attack and suppress wildfires, transport up to 12 fully equipped ground firefighters to the fire line, and rescue firefighters and civilians when in need.

“Following one of the worst fire seasons our state has seen, coupled with the trend of increasing wildfire occurrence and impacts, it is critical to increase the state’s capacity to respond to these incidents,” said DFPC Director Mike Morgan.

Larry Alexandre, President of United Rotorcraft, adds, “We are incredibly proud to be the exclusive completion center for the FIREHAWK® helicopter, and even more proud to deliver one to our home state. Firefighting and life-saving missions hold a special place within the heart and values of our company. We appreciate the trust that the people of Colorado have put in us, and plan to deliver a product unlike any other.”

Senate Bill 21-113, signed by Governor Polis on March 21, 2021, authorized the purchase of the S-70i™ helicopter, capable of performing both firefighting and non-fire missions.

Not only will the FIREHAWK® be an additional resource for aggressive and early initial attack on a wildfire, but it can also be used for longer duration wildfires in the state.

“A State-owned aircraft will increase DFPC’s capacity to respond to wildfires on a year-round basis,” said Vince Welbaum, DFPC Aviation Unit Chief.

With its multi-mission capabilities, this helicopter is able to be used across a plethora of missions within Colorado. It can be used from rockslide and avalanche prevention to wildlife counts and livestock preservation. The FIREHAWK® ® can continue to save lives through search and rescue and medical evacuation mission

The aircraft is projected to be delivered to Centennial, Colorado and United Rotorcraft early 2022, at which point it will begin its transformation into an elite multi-mission, firefighting machine that will serve the residents of Colorado for many years into the future. DFPC anticipates the State will take delivery of the FIREHAWK® Helicopter sometime in the later part of 2022.


About United Rotorcraft
United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods Corporation, ( specializes in the design, manufacture, and installation of ground and aerial mission critical equipment for front line workers, from firefighting and law enforcement, to HEMS and Medevac. For more information on the FIREHAWK® aircraft and/or United Rotorcraft, please contact or Ramy Nasralla at .

Media Contacts:
Caley Pruitt

Ramy Nasralla