UPLAND - As part of the city's ongoing measures to address budget difficulties, officials have negotiated a new contract for their Air Ambulance program.

The contract is still waiting for approval from attorneys with REACH Air, the company that runs the program, but the City Council has given its approval to help generate an additional $400,000 in annual revenue from the program.

Renegotiating the contract was part of City Manager Stephen Dunn's long-term recommendations for freeing up at least $2 million in the city's budget annually.

Under the proposed amendment to the contract, the city will receive $119,800 per month, or $407,510 each year.

"I'm not counting on $400,000, but I can probably count on $200,000 more than what we've been collecting, so that is a good chunk of money," Dunn said. "It definitely will help."

The city entered into a contract with REACH Air in 2009 for air ambulance services.

The contract included a reimbursement to cover the cost for staffing the helicopter, administrative fees and program management.

The city was receiving $85,834 per month to cover the costs of three nurses and three medics.

REACH provides the helicopter, including maintenance, a pilot and a mechanic.

The actual expenditures for 2011-12 were $1 million, netting the city $24,149, according to a city staff report.

After reviewing the program, the city determined that there was a number of soft costs that were not being accounted for, the staff report said.

Interim Fire Chief Dave Carrier helped negotiate the new contract.

"It was something that the time that I've spent here we began to recognize would be appropriate to go back to the table," he said.

He said the air ambulance is used about twice a month in the city and is available for use in surrounding cities.

"The benefits are multi-fold that it can respond to incidents in multiple locations," he said.


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