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California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) Leads the Way in Pioneering Helicopter Modification Which is Expected to Greatly Enhance Safety and Save Lives
Date:6/25/2009

cend their aircraft to 364 feet to see the landing site. "This is a tremendous difference," Likens said. "We will be able to make landings that up until this modification would have been impossible."

Cook and Pardee noted that Likens worked tirelessly in collaboration with the system's developers--Hickok & Associates in Alabama--designer of the approaches and low altitude routes and Garmin International, designers of the aircraft avionics systems, for more than two years to get the system approved by the FAA. Garmin International is headquartered in Salem, OR. "It was a tedious, difficult process but it was well worth it," Likens said. "Without a doubt we will be able to more safely complete the transportation of the gravely ill and victims of trauma."

In addition to the new flight system, Hickok & Associates was able to establish nearly 200 miles of off-airway/feeder routes to provide Minimum Instrument Altitudes (MIA) enroute to approaches. "What this means is that we will be able to travel directly on our own private low altitude routes," Likens said.

Primary beneficiaries of the new system will be patients who need to be taken to or picked up from Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC) in Ukiah, Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH), in Fort Bragg, and Redwood Coast Medical Services (RCMS) in Gualala. Two years ago CALSTAR placed an Automated Weather Observation System at MCDH. "With the addition of these new approaches, CALSTAR is in the best possible position to pick-up or deliver patients during inclement weather, particularly to its coastal medical facilities," Pardee said.

According to CALSTAR Director of Development and Outreach Mike Nichols, these dramatic improvements would not have been possible without the help of several very generous grants. "Our sincere thanks goes out to the Allen-Heath Memorial Foundation, the Community Foundation of
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California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) Leads the Way in Pioneering Helicopter Modification Which is Expected to Greatly Enhance Safety and Save Lives
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