About Us

Our History

Cal-Ore Life Flight has been providing air ambulance service since the 1990's, originally under the name Westlog Aviation. Westlog Aviation became Del Norte County's designated Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at the Crescent City Airport (KCEC, Jack McNamara Field) in the 1980's, offering aviation fuel sales, maintenance, charter flights, and flight instruction. Westlog began air operations using the Cessna 421 Golden Eagle and began transitioning into turbo props after about ten years.

In the mid-90s, Westlog rebranded its operation to Cal-Ore Life Flight and acquired the operations and assets of Southern Curry Ambulance Association, the 911 ground ambulance provider for Curry County, Oregon. The Cal-Ore administrative office and ground ambulance crew quarters were then combined in Brookings, Oregon.

In the early 2000's, Cal-Ore opened a satellite base in Eureka, California to better meet the needs of Northern California's Humboldt County population, the air program became CAMTS accredited, and an American Heart Association BLS Training Center was established.

In December 2011, Cal-Ore announced a merger with REACH Air Medical Services, based in Santa Rosa, California. This merger created the most comprehensive network of medical air and ground transportation in the Western United States and was a logical step forward as Cal-Ore and REACH had been collaborating on the patient transport front for several years.

Air Medical Teams

All Cal-Ore Life Flight pilots are FAA Part 135 certified, with substantial experience in both emergency ambulance flights and regional flying conditions. They are ground and flight tested regularly to meet stringent FAA standards. At Cal-Ore, we enhance pilot training to exceed requirements using our own King Air flight simulator. This sophisticated, self-contained device allows for pilots to practice emergency procedures and work through various flight scenarios.

Dr. Atilla Uner photo

Dr. Atilla Uner

Cal-Ore's extensively trained medical teams are overseen by Air Medical Director, Dr. Atilla Uner, who is board-certified in emergency medicine. Dr. Uner is a full-time ER Physician with decades of experience. Dr. Uner is assisted by Dr. Michael Niedens who is a practicing ER physician, and oversees Cal-Ore's ground ambulance operations.

On the airplanes, a Registered Flight Nurse and a Flight Paramedic (or two Registered Flight Nurses) provide patient care. On the helicopter, the medical team is made up of an RN and Paramedic, specifically trained in both hospital-to-hospital and scene transports. Each has significant and specialized medical training, including critical care emergency medicine and Advanced Life Support (ALS). In accordance with CAMTS standards, our nurses and paramedics participate in ongoing training to stay current on established flight protocols and procedures.

Because saving time is a fundamental aspect of emergency medicine, Cal-Ore utilizes Flight Coordinators to ensure that an aircraft and flight team are available for immediate response, as well as assisting with the logistical needs of providing services in our rural areas.

Ground Medical Teams

Cal-Ore Life Flight has a ground ambulance staff of more than 25 Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). All have extensive training and certification, including Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Prehospital Trauma Life Support. Additionally, all are certified through the National Registry and licensed in both Oregon and California.

Dr. Niedens photo

Dr. Mike Niedens

Dr. Mike Niedens is our Ground Medical Director. Board certified in Emergency Medicine; he oversees our ground medical teams to ensure the highest quality care. Dr. Niedens is a full-time Emergency Room Physician at Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach, Oregon.

Emeritus Medical Director, Dr. Reginald Williams, continues to consult and advise, as needed. Dr. Williams is also an FAA Medical Examiner and an accomplished pilot.

Community Involvement

Cal-Ore Life Flight regularly participates in a variety of community activities and events, and considers each opportunity to contribute an honor. Cal-Ore hosts training seminars for search & rescue groups, law enforcement & fire agencies, as well as taking part in health fairs, demonstrations, tours, and job shadowing programs.

Cal-Ore donates thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours annually to an array of community organizations.