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Emergency response companies merge to boost service

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Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:16 am, Wed Dec 7, 2011.

REACH Air Medical Services and Cal-Ore Life Flight, two privately-held companies, announced Monday that they have merged in order to provide a stronger network of service as well as to meet the needs of a growing health care system.

The merger, which went into effect on Nov. 30, is geared to help meet the changing needs and demands of health care reform, hospitals, health care organizations and insurance companies that are also looking for ways to streamline operations and expenses both within and outside of the hospital.

According to REACH Air Medical Services CEO Jim Adams, the merger allows California health care companies to have the ability to work with a single unit and complete patient transport service effectively rather than dividing time between two businesses that have already been working together for years.

"We will be able to assist them in meeting their fiscal demands and quality of care expectations," he said. "This merger brings together two companies with identical values, community involvement and commitment to doing what is right for our patients."

REACH, which has 13 helicopter bases — including one in Stockton — and one airplane base, specializes in helicopter and airplane emergency medical services. Cal-Ore, which has two airplane and two ground ambulance bases, specializes in airplane medical transports, and emergency and non-emergency ground ambulance services.

REACH began providing air ambulance services with a single helicopter and base of operations in California in 1987, and Cal-Ore operates eight ground ambulances, seven fixed-wing air ambulances and a remote scene support helicopter, as well as a facility providing aviation products.

According to a statement released by Adams, some of Cal-Ore's current general and administrative functions will be transitioned to REACH. These include financial services, human resources, risk management, business development and referral management. REACH will also provide increased clinical training and marketing support.

"We believe our services will be extremely important and valuable in helping these hospitals care for critically ill and injured patients," Dan Brittain, President and CEO of Cal-Ore Life Flights said in a statement.

" ... While national and state economic issues may be stabilizing, our ability to streamline costs while ... enhancing services, is critically important. We believe the merging of our two companies helps to meet all these objectives," he said.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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