The Ely Times

Crews from Baker, Lund, McGill, Lackawanna, EVFD, and city EMS, as well as the Sheriff’s office, Search and Rescue, Nevada Highway Patrol, and Mine Rescue participated in making all of White Pine County safer.

REACH Air Medical Services, headquartered in Sacramento, California, provides air medical transports for critically ill and injured patients across the Western United States. Patients receive an ICU-level of care from our highly skilled nurses and paramedics. Our experienced pilots fly patients aboard our medically equipped helicopters and airplanes. REACH operates more than 50 air ambulance bases located in California, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Colorado and Texas.

REACH pilots have an average of 5,000 hours experience as pilot in command. All REACH flight pilots are instrument rated and remain current under a rigid training and check-ride program closely controlled by the FAA. REACH was the first air ambulance company in the United States to receive approval by the FAA to operate off published instrument airways using  own proprietary GPS routes to specific hospitals.

The REACH rotor-wing fleet includes the twin-engine IFR-capable Eurocopter EC135 aircraft, as well as the single-engine H-125. These aircraft have a cruise speed of approximately 120 to 160 mph.  fleet also includes single-engine, VFR-only Bell 407 aircraft.

REACH operates King Air B200 twin-engine IFR-capable pressurized fixed-wing aircraft, as well as the Pilatus PC-12. The cruising speeds of these aircraft are 290-300 mph.

REACH operates under its own FAA part 135 Air Carrier Certificate.

REACH provides state-of-the-science service to the communities it serves using the most advanced equipment to facilitate the safe transport of patients in critical flight situations. An essential element of REACH’s success is our ability to respond to flight requests for transport, in most instances, despite inclement weather. They can skillfully respond to most situations because of  IFR capability, allowing us to safely respond in adverse weather conditions.

Membership costs $85 a year for an entire household (and $65 rates for seniors available for those 60 years or older), and covers out-of-pocket expenses for a medically-necessary flight by any AirMed Care Provider.

Several volutneers ran through exercises, called hot and cold loads.  A hot load is when the helicopter is running, and the patient is being loaded, and cold is when the helicopter is shut down.  REACH has the ability to land in different locations such as church parking lots,  roads, and various terrains.

Assistant Chief Bodie Golla for the City of Ely Fire Department coordinated the training exercise. “All of our law enforcement partners that are here today, I know there has been a lot of questions of should I call REACH, should I not?  Call, it’s easier to turn them around if needed.  It’s just important that everybody knows it’s important to have too much then not enough.  A Nevada Highway Patrol officer, Kelly Barney asked if it would be automatic that they respond to a vehicle accident.  Golla, “ Kind of what our guideline in the city right now, if we feel the call warrants a helicopter we’re able to request, kind of generally speaking, it’s unofficial it’s been talked about oustide of a 20 minute drive from city center is kind of what we are looking at for our guidelines, but nothing has been set in stone, so that’s why we are generally speaking right now.

REACH explained that they were fine with responding to the call and if it was determined the patient was stable enought to go by ground, they were happy to help.  They would rather be called so they could help rather than getting the call when some time has gone by.