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Morongo tribe donates $6.5 million to hospital

Morongo tribe begins ground-air ambulance service

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has launched a ground ambulance and medical helicopter that will serve the Morongo reservation and communities across San Gorgonio Pass.

The project – a partnership between the tribe and Global Medical Response, REACH Air Medical Services, and American Medical Response – is the first partnership in the United States between a tribe and an emergency services provider, according to a tribal statement.

“The Morongo ground and air ambulances will save lives by delivering immediate, high-quality emergency medical care to those in need,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin in the statement. “Public safety has always been a top priority for our tribe, and our new ambulance program in partnership with AMR and REACH is the latest extension of that commitment.”

Based at the Morongo Tribal Fire Department, the ground ambulance has full-time Morongo firefighters/paramedics that began responding to calls one month ago.

The tribal medical air unit, a twin-engine Airbus H-145 helicopter, began work on April 1. It is dispatched by Riverside County’s CAL FIRE operations center, according to the center.

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