Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fairfax County (Virginia) Police Helicopter Unit Receives Award


Members of the Fairfax County Police Departments helicopter unit recently received the annual Gus Crawford Air Crew of the Year Award. The unit received the award July 20 for the rescue of two missing boys in Spotsylvania. 

The three officers who were recognized were Pilot Garrett Wymer, Master Police Officer Paul DeHaven and Police Officer First Class Timothy Schilling. 

On January 25, two brothers, age ten and 5, went outside to play with their dog in the snow. Thirty minutes later, the parents went to check on them to find footprints from the boys led into the dense woods bordering the family home.

Deputies from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office began searching for the boys and requested assistance from the Fairfax County Police Helicopter, “Fairfax One.” During sub-freezing temperatures, te helicopter unit performed an extensive search, using the infrared camera while also communicating with deputies on the ground.

With only 10 to 15 minutes remaining for Fairfax One to remain on the scene, a small heat source was located under a fallen tree next to a creek. The crew was able to spot the two missing boys huddled together under the tree and directed search team members to their location.

The Gus Crawford Air Crew of the Year Award is given annually by the Airborne Law Enforcement Association, which was founded in 1968 and has 3,500 members worldwide.