Employees from a wide variety of agencies such as El Centro Fire Department, the Bureau of Land Management and West Shores Ambulance came to the event where friends, family and members of the public enjoyed food, drinks and downtime together.
“The Valley is very communal. We’re all brothers and sisters that work together day in and day out,” REACH Business and Membership Development Senior Manager Don Wharton said. “We’re always excited to host events here.”
REACH General Manager Robert Frick said REACH employees work in a fast-paced environment and must rely on strong collaborative communication with other Valley emergency responders when responding to a scene.
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Despite strong winds that picked up Friday, open house attendees took the opportunity to climb inside an actual REACH helicopter before heading inside the REACH facility near the Imperial County Airport.
“It gives a sense of security to know there’s that resource here in the Imperial Valley and that we can count on quick transportation when you can’t get the level of care you might need locally,” Calexico resident Debbie Garcia said Friday.
REACH Air Medical Services was awarded the Imperial County EMS Provider Agency of the year for 2012.
REACH Air Medical Services was established in the Valley in July 2008 and has been servicing the area 24 hours a day seven days a week 365 days a year since then.
It has 14 full-time employees in the Valley, two helicopters based here and responds to roughly 600 calls a year from all over the area excluding the Mexicali Valley.
Each air ambulance has a team of three people including a flight paramedic, pilot and flight nurse which work together to treat and transport a patient. Two full-time mechanics are also assigned to the base.
REACH has various events throughout the year and stays involved with the community through activities such as school visits, drunken driving reenactments and more.
REACH also provides an annual membership service which, for $50 a year for an individual or family, covers air ambulance costs not covered by insurance and often total into thousands of dollars.
Call 866-767-3224, visit www.REACHair.com/membership or email membership@REACHair.com for information. More than 10,000 people in the Imperial Valley are REACH members.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com