REACH Air Medical Services and Washington County EMS Announce Partnership
REACH Air Medical Services and Washington County EMS announces their new public-safety partnership. The public-private agreement between the organizations brings a public-safety helicopter that will support emergency air-medical transports, hoist rescue services, aerial firefighting, and other search and rescue operations throughout Washington County, the Brazos Valley and surrounding communities.
“This program is an incredibly innovative model and is the first of its kind in the state,” Kevin Deramus, director of EMS for Washington County, says. “The multi-mission aircraft will not only make expedient transport to definitive care for emergency and trauma patients more accessible, but it will deliver needed public-safety services to our community and our neighboring public-safety partners.”
"We are incredibly thankful to be partnering with Washington County EMS," says Sean Russell, president of Global Medical Response, Pacific Region. "Together, we will continue to deliver the best comprehensive medical care and expand current public-safety services through the addition of this multi-mission aircraft."
The Washington County EMS branded Airbus EC-145 helicopter is a high-performance aircraft that can be used for aerial fire suppression, including water bucket drops, hoist rescue missions and emergency air-medical transports. The fully configured aircraft is equipped with the latest in avionics and safety features and is instrument flight rules (IFR) capable, meaning it can fly in a variety of weather conditions. On-site aircraft maintenance technicians from REACH will maintain the helicopter above FAA standards.
The new public-safety helicopter program is staffed by highly trained and experienced REACH pilots and flight nurse rescuers, Washington County paramedic crew chiefs, and an aviation division chief with more than 25 years of experience managing a multi-mission aviation program.
“We turned over every stone over the last three years, ensuring we were developing the correct blueprint for a true public-safety partnership unlike anything else,” Deramus says. “Not necessarily to be different, but efficient, fiscally appropriate and safe, and to make sure we, as a partnership, can do it right. REACH shares our philosophy of ‘doing the right thing for the patient’ in all situations, and that made the building process much easier.”
The program will operate 24 hours a day from the brand-new facility located next to the Washington County EMS station in Brenham. The aircraft is strategically positioned to deliver rapid response times for rural Texas in both normal emergency air-medical response and disaster response, including aerial fire support and rescue operations, throughout Washington County and the surrounding regions. The program is seeking dual accreditation under both CAMTS and APSA (Airborne Public Safety Association) for its Part 133 missions.