Where We Stand: Let’s keep our Helitack crew!

By Lisa Kelly and Dayne Lewis

The contract for our local Helitack crew, Aero Tech LLC-Helicopter 512, is up for renewal.  We are asking for your support in keeping these firefighters, who have served our community over the last 8 years, on the Plumas National Forest. This crew is the first line of defense and usually the first on scene to any fire in our forest, many times extinguishing a fire before we even are aware of its existence. Attached you will find a letter of support template, directed to Federal Contract and Grant Awards and Opportunities for Contracting Officer, Steven B. Peterson, who is in charge of federal contract renewal for this crew.  Please use this template or create your own letter, requesting that the US Forest Service renew the contract for Aero Tech LLC – Helicopter 512.

Over the past 8 years, each crew member has become an integral part of our community.  They frequent local businesses, attend events, and have formed valued relationships with Plumas County residents.  Jennifer Bartley, Pilot, came to the Plumas from New Mexico, met and married Quincy local, Cole Vanetti – who is the relief mechanic and fuel truck driver. They are raising their two children here in Quincy. This year, Jennifer has also been asked to be the keynote speaker for Northern California STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) career day, an educational event for all Northern California K-12 students.  Michael Brennan, Lead Mechanic and Gary Holmbo, Fuel Technician, provide direct support for the aircraft and are valued members of our community. Gary has been a resident of Plumas County for over 30 years and Mike’s wife, Paula, joins him for the duration of fire season.

It is important to note that this crew has been flying on the Plumas National Forest for the last eight years, making them intimately familiar and highly knowledgeable of our forest and the resources needed to fight fire. They have a vested and personal interest in protecting our forests that they also call home.  It is our hope that you will add your letter to this campaign to retain the crew of Aero Tech, crew H512 on the Plumas National Forest.  During times of emergency, as a community, we often wonder how to thank our firefighters – here is our opportunity to show our gratitude by supporting those who have protected us.

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A template is attached for your convenience, to be directed to Stephen B. Peterson, Federal Contract and Grant  Awards and Opportunities for Contracting Officer. Letters of support can be emailed to  [email protected]

AeroTech Letter of Support Template (3)