Big Bear Valley, CA, July 13, 2010, 12:19pm – Local and county fire agencies were in attendance today at the Big Bear City Airport for special medical evacuation training with the City of Upland Fire Department.  According to Chief Flight Nurse Patty Murphy, their new program is collaboration with the City of Upland Fire and REACH Air Medical Services that began on February 1st of this year.  As part of the program, REACH provides the helicopter, pilots and maintenance while Upland Fire provides certified and trained flight nurses and flight paramedics.  The crew responds to 911 scene calls and can provide hospital interfacility transports of critically ill and/or injured patients.  One of the aspects that makes this unique is the state of the art Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter which is capable of airspeeds of 150 mph that can operate under Instrument Flight Rules which is also equipped with night vision goggles for advanced safety of nighttime operations.  Today’s training in medical evacuation and safety operation procedures provided to our local fire agencies will provide additional services to our community should it be needed in the event of medical emergencies unable to be cared for by our local hospital.  Additional training will be held this Wednesday at our local airport so that all local fire personnel will be given the opportunity to be trained using this new equipment in the event it is needed in our community.