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Mendo Lake Family Life

Reach Air Medical Services

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Reach Air Medical Services
Redding, California 95482
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REACH began providing helicopter air ambulance services for the citizens of Northern California on April 17, 1987, using twin-engine, instrument flight capable Agusta 109A aircraft. Initially, REACH was a program operated by Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital of Santa Rosa, California, with Hospital Air Transport of Portland, Oregon, as the vendor. On October 1, 1988, the program transitioned to one which was privately operated, with Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital as its prime sponsor. In 1989, transport services were expanded to include fixed-wing, using leased aircraft. In 1990 a Cessna 421C was purchased, outfitted and dedicated to air ambulance work. In 1990, Hospital Air Transport opted out of the partnership, and Aeromedical Consultants became the sole owner. The name of the company was changed to Mediplane, Inc., also DBA REACH (Redwood Empire Air Care Helicopter.) A seminal event occurred in 1993 when Children's Hospital Medical Center Oakland (CHO) selected REACH to be its primary provider of air ambulance services for critically ill and injured children. Children's Hospital Oakland supports the highest volume PICU in Northern California and, in addition, is a pediatric trauma center. The creation of this relationship has catalyzed the REACH staff's heavy emphasis on pediatric critical care education and training. REACH has now transported approximately 1,250 critically ill and/or injured children to CHO. In July of 1993, REACH inaugurated a second base of helicopter operations (REACH II) at the Nut Tree (Solano County) Airport in Vacaville, California. REACH II was initially staffed 12 hours each day. On February 1, 1996, hours of service at REACH II were extended to 24 hours. In 1994, Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, Medocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg, Redbud Community Hospital in Clearlake, Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport, and Ukiah Valley Medical Center in Ukiah joined as affiliate sponsors. On April 15, 1998, REACH relocated its REACH II Vacaville base to Executive Airport in Sacramento. On the same day, a third rotor-wing base (REACH III) was opened at Buchanan Field in Concord, California. The creation of these new bases resulted in a significant broadening of REACH's capability to promptly respond to both scene and interfacility requests throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento Area, and in fact, throughout Northern California. An essential element of REACH's capability from the date of its inception as a helicopter air ambulance in 1987 has been its capacity to respond to requests for transport, in most instances, despite inclement weather. The reason REACH has been able to respond in this refined manner is our instrument flight rules (IFR) capability, allowing us to safely and legally respond in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). For many years REACH was the only rotor-wing air ambulance in Northern California Area able to respond in IMC. Now, some others have followed our lead. As a further extension of REACH's instrument flight capability, we have developed Global Positioning System (GPS) routing and approaches to some hospitals in Northern California. The use of GPS routing and approaches allows us to respond under some adverse weather conditions which would have otherwise prevented us from response even with our instrument flight capabilities. To put this advance in perspective, REACH is the first and only air ambulance company in the United States to receive approval by the FAA to respond off airway, using its own GPS routes to specific hospitals. And, REACH is the first air ambulance company west of the Mississippi River to have its own approaches/departures to/from specific hospitals. We are extraordinarily proud of these advances which are representative of REACH's innovative mindset. REACH currently owns and operates six Agusta 109A helicopters and two Cessna 421C airplanes. From the date of inception of our service in April of 1987 we have now performed in excess of 10,000 accident free transports by rotor-wing throughout Northern California. The 10,000th flight milestone occurred on May 29, 2000. We are working diligently on our second 10,000 rotor-wing transports. In addition, REACH has performed approximately 3,500 fixed-wing transports. In January 2000, REACH purchased a fixed-wing air ambulance service; Air REACT in Las Vegas, Nevada. From this base we operate two Cessna 421C aircraft. In April 2000, REACH initiated a relationship with Redding Medical Center (RMC) in Redding, California. REACH provides a BO-105 helicopter air ambulance, pilots and mechanics for RMC. The hospital maintains responsibility for the clinical division of the program. We have been busy! We state all of the above proudly, but most of all, we want to emphasize the common denominator of our activities here at REACH over the past 13+ years… decreased morbidity and mortality for all age groups, and in particular within the pediatric age group. Our emphasis on pediatric critical care and the results we have achieved with regard to pediatric transport have placed us in a position of great respect, not only from Children's Hospital Oakland, but also from other pediatric intensive care units in Northern California. Stated simply, we are known as the pediatric air ambulance service - performing not only transport but also initial assessment and stabilization in a timely manner. We will continue to emphasize the basic principle which is communicated to all our staff: treat every transport as the most important one you have ever done, and always use as a guiding principle, the simple concept…