Alpine, CA – December 22, 2015 – REACH Air Medical Services (REACH) announces the opening of its new air ambulance base in Alpine, California. This emergency medical helicopter service is located on the Viejas Indian Reservation serving the tribal communities and surrounding region with 24/7/365 emergency air medical transport. This is the sixth REACH air transport vehicle providing service in Southern California.
Placement of this helicopter is the result of many years of planning between REACH, headquartered in Northern California, the leadership of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and their Fire Department. Tribal Chairman Robert J. Welch shared, “Our community health and safety has always been a top priority for the Viejas Tribal government. REACH offers our tribal community as well as our neighboring rural communities the necessary life-saving transport services vital to critically injured and ill patients.”
Fire Chief Don Butz stated, “The culmination of these efforts means that many thousands of residents and visitors in this area will have improved access to critical care air transport services. We look forward to this partnership bringing an improved quality of life to our community.”
REACH President Sean Russell, who has been with the company for 25 years, noted, “This collaboration with the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians is something unique and special. We are excited to embark on this partnership, our first with a Native American entity. We appreciate the opportunity to bring innovative solutions to the communities we serve.”
The aircraft chosen to serve this area is an AirBus EC-135 helicopter with dual engines and IFR capability, which allows it to fly when some aircraft are grounded due to weather. It flies with airspeeds up to 150 miles per hour and has the capacity to carry the flight crew and patient, and whenever possible, a family member on board during transport. The crew is equipped with night vision goggles to enhance safety of nighttime flights. This helicopter will serve as a back-up resource to the REACH air ambulance bases providing service from Imperial, Riverside and San Diego Counties.
In October of this year, REACH Air Medical Services was named Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). This award is hailed as one of the air medical industry’s highest honors and is presented annually to one company whose program most clearly exceeds industry standards for safety, patient care, leadership and community service.
REACH is part of the AirMedCare Network–the nation’s largest air ambulance membership program– which covers out-of-pocket expenses for members in the event of an emergency air transport by REACH or any other 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.