The Honolulu Fire Department is temporarily using a police helicopter for firefighting and rescue services while its own helicopters undergo servicing and maintenance work after an inspection revealed extensive wear and tear.
The Honolulu Police Department helicopter is identical to the fire department's helicopters and is capable of performing the same rescue missions and firefighting operations, HFD said. It is also inspected according to FAA requirements.
HFD received permission from the Honolulu City Council to shift funds within the HFD budget to service and maintain its two helicopters. In addition, one of its helicopters will be completely refurbished, requiring some of the parts to be sent to the mainland.
HFD estimates one of the helicopters to be fully serviced and in the air within a month, while the other will be completed within two months after the first one is completed. The refurbishment process will take approximately a year to complete but will not require either of the helicopters to be taken out of service for extended periods of time.