According to Deborah Pardee, R.N., M.S., North Bay Regional Director for CALSTAR, the donations have made a significant contribution in CALSTAR’s mission to save lives. “The generosity given to CALSTAR 4 is overwhelming and sincerely appreciated by every member of the base,” she said. “In these tough economic times, the Allen-Heath Memorial Foundation feels like CALSTAR 4’s personal guardian angel and Santa Claus all rolled into one!”
Since 2003, the Foundation has donated some $205,000 to the Ukiah base. Over the years, the contributions have allowed the base to purchase a wide array of equipment as well as to provide specialized training to its crews, and fellow Emergency Medical Service Partners.
In 2007, a Foundation contribution of $25,000 allowed CALSTAR 4 to install a weather tracking device onsite at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg, CA. Known as a SuperAWOS the device helps pilots to have extremely accurate weather information on the Mendocino Coast. “Our pilots find it to be highly helpful,” Pardee said. In 2011 this year’s grant allowed CALSTAR to upgrade the SuperAWOS with new features. In the same year, the donation allowed CALSTAR IV to purchase an aircraft tug. “It is in use, and the mechanics love it,” Pardee said.
Also in 2011, the Foundation contribution helped to bring Dr. Richard Levitan to Ukiah for a five-hour seminar. Dr. Levitan is an internationally recognized expert on airway management. The class was delivered free of charge at the Mendocino County Community Health Services building and all seats were filled well in advance.
Participants included nine physicians and one nurse from Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC), as well as emergency medical professionals representing Ukiah Ambulance, Mendocino Coast District Hospital Ambulance, Laytonville Ambulance, Coastal Valley EMS Agency and CALSTAR. UVMC Emergency Room Physician said, “I can’t thank you enough. It was extremely useful, perhaps even lifesaving for some.”
This year’s donation will be used to bring back to Mendocino County either Dr. Levitan or someone of his caliber. “This time we hope to have two classes, and have them in our more rural communities of Willits and Fort Bragg,” Pardee said.
The donation also will allow the base to purchase crew members wicking flame resistant under garments for those 100-plus degree days in Ukiah. An additional $4,500 will be used to provide the quarterly inspection, for one year, of the weather tracking station at the Sea Ranch Airport in Gualala. Finally, $2,600 will be used for a Lithium Ion starting unit that allows crew members to start an aircraft remotely, and an additional $900 will be spent for a 28.5 volt continuous DC portable power supply. This device allows the crew to accomplish maintenance ground runs without depleting the aircraft battery.
Over the years, the Foundation has provided monies that have had a dramatic impact on all of Mendocino County. To name just a few of the items, they include night vision goggles and training, new computers base-wide, high quality stethoscopes, a new phone system, a GPS approach for the clinic in Gualala, a GPS approach to Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg and much, much more.
CALSTAR is the largest non-profit air ambulance service on the West Coast. Including the base in Ukiah it has a total of 11 bases serving a diverse area from Santa Barbara to Mendocino County to South Lake Tahoe. All bases operate 7 days a week, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. CALSTAR is now in its 27th year of operation and has transported more than 45,000 patients without a single injury to a patient or crew member.
CALSTAR also offers annual memberships that cover out-of-pocket costs for air medical services provided by CALSTAR or one of its reciprocal partner programs. For more information, individuals can call 1-888-207-LIFE or visit the company’s website at 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."