The Pilatus PC-12/45 single engine aircraft glistens after a washing, prepared and ready to take off at a moments notice to serve communities in the area. This aircraft will be based out of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Care Flight launches new service

A view of the inside of the new Care Flight fixed wing plane, with room for a patient, family and a crew of critical care medical staff. Photo by Ian Hoffmann

Beginning March 11, REMSA Care Flight has expanded its services with the addition of critical care fixed-wing transport.

The Pilatus PC-12/45 single engine aircraft will provide patients access to critical care in time-sensitive situations where transport by plane provides the most efficient and appropriate option available.

The company’s medical helicopters and ground ambulance currently provide service to California and Nevada, including Plumas County. REMSA Care Flight also provides ground ambulance service for the Quincy area. With the addition of this airplane, Care Flight’s service area extends to an 11-state region across the western U.S.

This service extends Care Flight’s ability to be a one-stop resource for getting patients transported to the right level of care, at the right time, through appropriate and optimized transportation options by a critical care team regardless of weather, distance or time.

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 of REMSA.

Dow noted, “REACH’s industry-leading safety record, their commitment to maintaining key Emergency Medical Services 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 at 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.

“We see this new option as a way to round out our services,” said JW Hodge, Care Flight PR Director. “We now have multiple options when dealing with weather situations and such in rural areas such as Plumas County.”

The fixed-wing program will now be offered as part of Care Flight’s existing comprehensive transport system, which includes four AStar 350 B3 helicopters as well as critical care ground ambulance crews. The addition of the airplane will create further efficiencies.

The fixed wing 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 rural areas with smaller airports, such as Nervino in Beckwourth.

Inside the cockpit, a view of the many instruments and dials that the pilot masters on emergency calls to provide medical transport services to many communities, such as rural Plumas County.

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 important thing about all of our services is that the medical teams for ambulance, helicopter and plane are all required to have the same level of training. We can provide a high level of care to transport patients as we get them to their destination, whether their doctor is in Southern California or Utah,” said Hodge.

One of the highlights of the program 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.

Stay tuned for future information about the new Care Flight fixed-wing transport system, as the plane plans to pay a visit to Plumas County sometime this summer.

For more information about the new service, visit remsahealth.com or call 775-858-5700.

Benefits of fixed-wing service

Offers more room for family to fly with loved ones.

Provides more capacity for specialty teams and equipment.

Offers increased ability to fly in adverse weather conditions.

Has an air speed of up to 275 mph in a pressurized cabin.

Can fly 1,000 nautical miles, covering the Western United States.