Summit Air Ambulance of Caldwell, an Idaho opened today in a new location at Reno-Tahoe International Airport and will begin servicing all of 2estern Nevada, as well as Eastern California from Lone Pine to the Southern Oregon border.
It’s the fourth expansion for Summit Air, which opened a facility in Elko in 2009. A year later the company branched out to Bozeman, Mont. Summit Air will share hangar space in Reno with Atlantic Aviation and will have a small office to house pilots and medical crews.
The company’s business office and dispatch center are located in Caldwell. The Reno branch will employ a base manager and a support staff of 12 full-time employees — four nurses, four paramedics and four pilots.
It will cover its service area with a Pilatus PC-12, a plane with a range of more than 1,700 miles and a cruising speed approaching 300 miles per hour.
Greg Klick, director of business development for Summit Air, says the company has been in contact with the roughly 25 hospitals in its newest market, which provided the impetus for the expansion. American MedFlight has operated fixed-wing air ambulance service from Reno-Tahoe International for more than 25 years.
“The hospitals in the general service area, which is quite large, expressed to us that there is a need for another provider,” Klick says. “They also are looking for other options to provide timely service, and we are happy to full that niche for them.
“We have notified those hospitals that we are opening March 4, and over the next couple weeks we will be meeting individually with the staffs of those hospitals.”
Summit plans on running a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. operation for a few weeks while pilots and medical crews adjust to the new service area before moving to a 24-hour operation.