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REACH Air Medical Services Announces Planned Opening of New Air Ambulance Base in Alpine, California


Last updated 8/24/2015 at 10:15am

REACH Air Medical Services (REACH) announces the planned opening of its new air ambulance base in Alpine, California. This emergency medical helicopter service is expected to be placed on the Viejas Casino grounds serving the tribal communities and surrounding region with 24/7/365 emergency air medical transport. This is the sixth REACH air transport vehicle offering service in the southern California area.

Placement of this helicopter is the result of several years of relationship building on the parts of REACH, headquartered in Northern California, and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, their Fire Department and leadership. The culmination of their efforts means that the many thousands of residents and visitors in this area will have improved access to critical care air transport services. The helicopter will be used to provide life-saving service to rural communities as well as the recreation areas that Eastern San Diego County is known for.

When needed, this air ambulance helicopter will serve as back up to the REACH bases currently offering service from Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties. “Whenever we can establish a network of aircraft it increases our ability to serve all the surrounding communities.” states Anna Blair, VP of Business Relations at REACH Air Medical Services. “The addition of this aircraft base increases our responsiveness and in-service expectations our communities have come to rely on us for. The fact that the leadership at Viejas, from Tribal Council to the Fire Department, is supportive of this air base location is very humbling. They want to serve not only their community but Southern California as a whole. It is our first base located on sovereign land and it means a tremendous amount to us.”

Final steps are underway for the base opening, planned for Q4 of 2015. Staff hiring has started and additional announcements of opening events will be coming in the next few months. The aircraft chosen to serve this area will be a Eurocopter EC-135 helicopter with dual engines and Instrument Flight Rules capability (meaning it can fly when some other aircraft are grounded due to weather). This aircraft has the ability to carry not just crew and patient, but also a family member whenever possible. This aircraft is capable of airspeeds of up to 150 miles per hour, and is equipped with night vision goggles to enhance safety of nighttime operations.

REACH is part of the AirMedCare Network–the nation’s largest air medical transport membershipprogram–which covers out-of-pocket expenses for members in the event of an emergency air transport by REACH or another AirMedCare Network service provider. For a low-cost annual fee, individuals and companies may join more than 1.7 million members who receive coverage from more than 220 air transport locations in 32 states coast to coast.

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