Cal-Ore Life Flight has been providing air ambulance service since January 1998. In 1987, Westlog Aviation became Del Norte County’s designated Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at the Crescent City Airport (KCEC, Jack McNamara Field), offering aviation fuel sales, maintenance, charter flights and flight instruction. Westlog participated in a joint emergency transport venture with the local ground ambulance operator in Del Norte County, California, with Westlog providing the aircraft and flight crews, and the ambulance operator providing the medical staff. Westlog used two fixed-wing Cessna 421 planes to fly approximately 1,000 medical air transport missions.
With the establishment of the independently-operated Cal-Ore Life Flight, we added medical flight equipment, along with the crew members necessary to operate as a critical care Advanced Life Support (ALS) air transport provider. In September 1998, Cal-Ore acquired the operations and assets of Southern Curry Ambulance Association, the ground ambulance provider for the Brookings, Harbor and Gold Beach areas of Curry County, Oregon.
Cal-Ore Life Flight soon added a third aircraft, and in 2001 we purchased the first of five Piper Cheyenne II jet-props. The following year, we implemented a ground ambulance replacement program, purchasing the first of several new ground units. The Cal-Ore administrative office and ground ambulance crew quarters in Brookings, Oregon, opened in 2003. In addition to housing on-duty Cal-Ore ground crew members, this facility provides training space and storage for supplies. By 2004, Cal-Ore had five aircraft, eight pilots and a clinical staff of 20.
In 2005, we opened our satellite base in Eureka, California. Ultimately, one of our aircraft was permanently stationed in Eureka to better meet the needs of Northern California’s Humboldt County population. In 2007, the Cal-Ore air program became CAMTS accredited, a distinction earned by only 130 air programs across the U.S. We also established a training institute that offers classes such as CPR, First Aid, PALS, ACLS and others to the public. Our classes utilize patient simulator mannequins to support a thorough training experience for all participants. In 2009, Cal-Ore became an American Heart Association BLS Training Center and an EMS Safety Services Regional Training Center.
In December 2012, 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. Our mutual commitment to superior levels of safety, patient care and customer service resulted in a larger network and the ability to serve more patients.
Cal-Ore, in concert with REACH Air Medical Services, continues to provide the highest quality care to the patients, customers and communities in our region. We look forward to expanding our services to meet their growing needs.