Thursday, November 20, 2014

Some Careers Are Looking Up: Sheriff’s Helicopter Lands at Rim High

Mike Harris 
Sheriff's Deputy John Scalise speaks to a group of Rim of the World High School ROP students about opportunities with the sheriff's aviation program after landing his helicopter on the football field.

Students enrolled in Rim of the World High School’s ROP law enforcement class had the chance to hear about careers in San Bernardino County sheriff’s aviation program on Nov. 13, but the information had to be shared on the football field.

That’s because the speaker was Deputy John Scalise, and he and crewman Deputy John Anderson brought along their 2004 Eurocopter R AS 350 B3, a single-engine light helicopter, landing it right on the field.

With maybe 30 students gathered around the helicopter, Scalise talked about the sheriff’s aviation program, and offered details about what it’s like to fly a helicopter, the various types of helicopters available, their individual roles and what it takes to be a part of the aviation program.

ROP stands for regional occupational program, and at Rim High students can enroll in variety of career-oriented classes. On this day, students from the law enforcement class were joined by students in the fire technology class.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Division is the lead aerial law enforcement agency in the county. The Sheriff’s Aviation Division provides assistance to all allied federal, state, county and city agencies. The Aviation Division also supports and responds to Region 6 counties through California State OES.

Missions include search and rescue, fire suppression, special missions (such as dive rescues and marijuana extractions) and surveillance and transport.

Stephanie Phillips, Rim High’s ROP coordinator, said the school’s law enforcement class introduces students to different career opportunities within the law enforcement sector.

“ROP students are exposed to people from the different careers and agencies, and we bring in guest speakers,” she said. “We also take the students on field trips to different destinations.”

Or bring programs to students, such as having the Sheriff’s Aviation Division fly in a helicopter.

Rim’s law enforcement class is taught by Ed VonPingel, a retired Riverside police officer.

“Ed taught law enforcement at Redlands East Valley and has been an ROP teacher for nine years,” she added. “This is his third year teaching at Rim.”

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