Air Medical pledges to keep REACH identity, values, culture
SANTA ROSA — Air ambulance service REACH Medical Holdings of Santa Rosa said its acquisition by Texas-based Air Medical Group Holdings was finalized Wednesday.
Effective with the sale, Jim Adams, chief executive officer of REACH for the past 11 years, was replaced by Sean Russell, who will report to Fred Buttrell, chief executive officer of Air Medical.
“I see this opportunity of becoming part of the (Air Medical) family as a great fit and it is very exciting to us,” Mr. Russell said in a statement. “We look forward to getting the scale benefits of being part of a larger air medical provider while staying true to what has made REACH a respected caregiver to our patients and a reliable partner to our customers and employees — now and into the future.”
Toward that goal, Air Medical plans to deliver a new EC-135 helicopter for Northern California operations in the next few months.
Air Medical plans to maintain REACH’s identity, values, culture and commitment to the vision the late John McDonald, who founded REACH in 1987, according to Mr. Russell. That’s part of the stated Air Medical ethos in keeping brand identities, company culture and management distinct.
As noted in news about the pending acquisition last week, REACH, short for Redwood Empire Air Care Helicopter, now joins three other Air Medical ambulance companies — Air Evac Lifeteam of West Plains, Mo.; Med-Trans Corp. of Dallas, and EagleMed of Wichita, Kan.
Before REACH, Air Medical operated a fleet of more than 200 helicopters and airplanes from 180 U.S. bases in 27 states.
REACH operates a fleet of 17 helicopters and three planes out of 12 bases in Northern California, Oregon and Texas, employing more than 400 people across those areas. It provides emergency air ambulance services to critically-ill or injured patients as a result of requests from emergency medical services personnel or transferring hospitals often located in rural areas. REACH has transported more than 75,000 patients in over 25 years of operation.
Air Medical will incur roughly $250 million in debt from the acquisition of REACH, according to a Moody’s Investors Service report.
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