Since beginning operations adjacent to the Borrego Medical Clinic in July 2020, Mercy Air’s helicopter air ambulance has operated on a temporary authorization from the permitting agency, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), Division of Aeronautics. To give permanent authorization for this service, CalTrans requires documentation of approval of the service by the County Board of Supervisors (BOS). At the regularly scheduled meeting of the BOS on June 28, 2023, Supervisor Jim Desmond formally requested the Board provide documentation of the Board’s approval of the service to CalTrans.
As the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund (BVEF) has been a long-time financial supporter of the air ambulance service, David Garmon, BVEF President, offered public comment at the BOS meeting. Garmon cited the remoteness of Borrego Springs from the nearest emergency medical services and consequently the importance of air ambulance transport in cases of critical injury or illness. He noted, “Our helicopter air ambulance dramatically reduces the time for critically ill or injured individuals to receive life-saving emergency medical care.”
The BOS voted unanimously to provide documentation to CalTrans of the Board’s approval of the air ambulance service at the Borrego Medical Clinic. This approval will be transmitted to CalTrans, which will then be able to issue a permit for permanent air ambulance service at the current site next to the Borrego Medical Clinic.