First Responders – Mendocino Coast Emergency Medical and Sea Rescue

Our “First Responders” – Although the Mendocino Coast is sparsely populated with only 25,000 residents spread over the 70 miles of the Healthcare District, a robust team of emergency responders with advanced skills and training, responds to every emergency call. They are coordinated by the county 9-1-1 call system and work closely with MCDH emergency physicians.

Ambulance Service

Mendocino Coast Hospital is designated as an emergency “base hospital” with a team of emergency medical technicians on board each ambulance. They remain in constant radio contact with the hospital ER staff and have the skill, knowledge, and equipment necessary to intervene in life threatening emergencies. The ambulance teams monitor local and county emergency radio channels and can dispatch two fully-equipped advanced life support ambulances to any location in our hospital district.

Volunteer Fire Departments

Because of the rural setting with miles of beaches, treacherous cliffs and forests, the fire departments have highly trained search and rescue teams. The towns of Gualala, Elk, Albion-Little River, Mendocino, Fort Bragg and Westport all maintain volunteer fire departments who routinely respond to every 9-1-1 call in their service areas.

U.S. Coast Guard

With bases in Fort Bragg and Eureka, Coast Guard search and rescue teams, which include helicopter and ocean rescue craft, respond to 9-1-1 calls involving ocean and river-related accidents or rescues.

CalStar and Reach Air Ambulance Services

A vital part of the MCDH first responder teams are the pilots, physicians and nurses from our two private helicopter medivac units. Depending on the nature of the emergency, these flying intensive care units might pick up a patient from an accident site and take them to our local hospital or transfer a critically-ill patient to a large medical center for advanced care.

A note about air ambulance costs: for those not covered by insurance, both CalStar and Reach offer annual individual memberships ($40) and family memberships ($45 a primary cardholder and spouse or partner and other immediate family living in the same residence). Membership covers the cost of an emergency flight, which can run $30,000 or more. You need memberships from both services to have full coverage, but the investment can be a financial lifesaver in the end.

For memberships:
Phone: 866 767-3224 (toll free) Fax: 707 324-2478
CalStar –
Phone: 707.462.5972
Fax: 707.462.5974

Family Support

Many people – whether tourists or locals – find themselves alone and distressed when a loved one or friend faces emergency treatment. For those who want a shoulder to lean on or spiritual support, we offer the services of a large corps of chaplains. Someone from the program is on call 24 hours a day.

Some of the Chaplains are ordained ministers, while others are lay-chaplains who have received special training and have experience in visiting the sick, have an understanding of the philosophy and practice of spiritual care, as well as a respect for all faith traditions. The Chaplains provide bedside visits every day of the week. They serve as a trusted person, compassionate and non-judgmental, offering support for comfort and healing. Special services are provided from time to time. For more information, contact the Chaplain Coordinator, Reverend Tanya Wyldflower at 707-961-1234, extension 208.

Temporary Housing

When a friend or loved on is admitted to the hospital following emergency treatment, you may want or need to stay in the area for a few days or more. For overnight lodging offering hospital discounts contact the
Surf Motel and Gardens –

The Emergency Department is staffed 24-hours a day by an experienced team of medical professionals. All Emergency Department physicians are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). Emergency Department registered nurses are certified as Mobile Intensive Care Nurses (MICN) and are assisted by a two-person team of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). Medical consultants are available on-call in various specialties such as Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics, Pathology, Pediatrics, Radiology, Neurology, & Surgery.