Care Flight expands fleet to include critical care airplane
Care Flight, an air ambulance service operated by the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) has expanded its services with the addition of a critical care fixed-wing transport program. The Pilatus PC-12/45 single engine aircraft will provide patients access to critical care in time-sensitive situations where longer-distance transports are needed. The company’s medical helicopters currently provide service to California and Nevada. With the addition of this airplane, Care Flight’s service area extends to an 11-state region across the western United States.
Care Flight’s fixed-wing program is offered through a partnership with REACH Air Medical Services – an air ambulance provider with bases in California, Oregon, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Nevada. REACH will provide the aircraft, pilots and mechanics. Care Flight provides the medical crew and daily operations management.
“Care Flight is thrilled to partner with REACH to provide fixed-wing critical care transportation across the region and primarily to our rural partner agencies,” said Dean Dow, President and CEO, REMSA. “REACH’s industry-leading safety record, their commitment to maintaining key Emergency Medical Services (EMS) accreditations, and the availability of a modern, high-performing airplane made them the ideal partner for Care Flight.”
“REACH recognized that Care Flight was the ideal partner to provide fixed-wing critical care transports in this area,” said Anna Blair, Vice President of Strategy, REACH. “Together, with our shared commitment to safety and quality patient care, we’ll continue to provide innovative healthcare solutions.”
Providing critical care in an area with unique geographical terrain and environmental conditions requires a breadth of transportation options. The fixed-wing program will be offered as part of Care Flight’s existing comprehensive transport program which includes four AStar 350 B3 helicopters and a critical care ground ambulance. The addition of the airplane will create further efficiencies by getting patients access to the right level of care, at the right time through appropriate and optimized transportation options.
The Pilatus PC-12/45 aircraft is ideally-suited for high-altitude, alpine flights and has a high-lift wing for exceptional short-field takeoff and landing performance. This is especially important for servicing Care Flight’s rural partner agencies who may have smaller airports. The body of the plane features an oversized aft door and the cabin is configured to accommodate a patient, the two-person medical crew and a pilot.
One of the program’s highlights is that it will round out Care Flight’s One Call program. This feature allows requesting EMS agencies, hospitals and clinics throughout the region to make one phone call to the REMSA/Care Flight dispatch to arrange any number of transport options for a critical care patient regardless of distance, weather or terrain.
This aircraft will be based out of the Reno Tahoe International Airport.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.