The new satellite navigation and weather reporting systems will enable CALSTAR flight crews to fly using Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), allowing them to take off and land safely at Mee Memorial during inclement weather. This enhanced IFR capability will increase CALSTAR’s ability to accept patient transport requests that would otherwise be declined.
Mee Memorial Hospital in King City is a frequent rendezvous point for responding to both emergency scene and inter-facility transport requests for patients in southern Monterey County. Patients admitted to Mee Memorial who are in need of specialized care must often be airlifted to trauma facilities located in San Jose or Fresno, distances too far to reach by ground within the all-important “golden hour.” In addition to enabling more inter-facility transports from the hospital, the GPS approach at Mee Memorial would provide a “launching point” for CALSTAR crews to respond to emergency scene calls in the surrounding region, as well as receive patients transported to the hospital’s helipad by ground ambulance.
In order to complete the final phase of linking Mee Memorial Hospital to the National Airspace System, CALSTAR also secured funding to purchase and install a Belfort DigiWx II Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS). The DigiWx II AWOS provides extremely accurate weather reporting of current conditions. Computer-
“The addition of the Belfort AWOS continues CALSTAR’s commitment to the highest standard of safe flight operations and service to the community,” said Jim Arthur, director of flight operations. “We now have real-time weather reporting at the George L Mee Memorial hospital heliport, greatly enhancing our helicopter operations under Instrument Flight Rules”.
The October 11 event will also provide an opportunity to recognize the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the Community Foundation for Monterey County, the Howard and Lynn Classen Endowment and Mee Memorial Hospital for providing the necessary funding to successfully complete the project.
CALSTAR is the largest nonprofit air ambulance provider on the west coast, with helicopter and fixed wing air ambulances serving victims of trauma and illness throughout California and Northern Nevada. CALSTAR utilizes what is considered to be the “gold standard” for flight crews - a pilot with at least 3,000 pilot-in-command hours and two highly trained and experienced trauma nurses. As a nonprofit organization, CALSTAR offers affordable air medical coverage through its membership program. An annual fee of $45 covers an entire household for air medical services provided by CALSTAR or its nine reciprocal partners. If a CALSTAR member is flown, CALSTAR will accept the member’s insurance reimbursement as payment in full. For more information on membership, individuals can call 1-888-207-LIFE or visit www.calstar.org.
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CALSTAR is a nonprofit air medical program serving California and Northern Nevada. Our mission is "to save lives, reduce disability and speed recovery for victims of trauma and illness through rapid transport, quality medical care and education."