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Flight Operations: Cal-Ore

Flight Operations: Cal-Ore

Dan Brattain

Vice President of Flight Operations

We treat every call like a new call. We’re coming in on what is probably the worst day of someone’s life. We really try to make sure each patient understands what we’re going to do, what to expect.

Dan on Cal-Ore’s region

“Up here, our hospitals are all level 4, which means they don’t have a lot of the trauma capabilities,” Dan says. “Level 1 hospitals are the highest. Those are teaching hospitals, like Stanford and UCSF. But the hospitals here do a great job. They absolutely do the best they can with the resources they have, and it’s certainly frustrating for them when they can’t provide the necessary care.”

Cal-Ore has both ground and air ambulances. “We do scene work with ground ambulances,” Dan says. “We go to residences, action scenes, situations like that. Our aircraft are fixed-wings, so they do hospital-to-hospital work. We help hospitals find the appropriate place for critical patients. Up here, it’s a minimum two-hour drive from one facility to another. That’s on a good day. It takes three or four hours if it’s snowing. So the air part is critical in getting patients the services they need. FlightGuard plays a big role in finding accepting physicians and facilities.”

To Dan, who is “the customer”?

“From a broad description, the community is our customer, because we provide a community service with both ground and air operations. We also do training and re-certification classes that serve the community,” Dan says. “Day-to-day, our customers are the medical facilities that are treating the patients.”

How does he connect with the customer?

Dan goes straight to the mission, and to the training and skill required to support that mission. “Connecting with the customer is based on ‘Always do what is right for the patient.’ We adhere to that. And it’s about having the right people and the right equipment poised to do the work. It’s about having people who know how to work in these particular settings.”

Dan also identifies feedback as an important aspect of customer connection. “It’s important to get feedback, and to encourage the customer to give feedback. The positive comments are so rewarding to the crews, because often they never hear anything about a patient after transport.”