Mojave Medical Center Donates Device to Spaceport Firefighters

Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

MOJAVE (MMC PR) — A medical device that will help crash-rescue firefighters at the Mojave Air and Space Port treat medical patients was donated to the East Kern Airport District by the directors of the Mojave Community Medical Center, Inc. (MMC) Tuesday.

The pulse-oximeter allows firefighters to check the amount of oxygen and in a patient’s blood, expressed as a percentage, plus the patient’s pulse rate, said MMC President Bill Deaver.

“This device will be used by airport firefighters in conjunction with the two automated external defibrillators (AED) we previously donated to them to treat patients experiencing heart problems,” Deaver said. One of the AEDs is carried on the fire department’s engine and the other is installed in the hallway near the Voyager Restaurant.

Funded by volunteers

The medical center, located on EKAD property next to the Mojave Post Office, was built more than 30 years ago with donations from local residents that matched a grant from the Sears, Roebuck Foundation. The foundation provided plans for the center and its first physician, Dr. Sam Conklin, who still practices medicine in Tehachapi. The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District operates a Rural Health Clinic at the center.

Deaver said the Mojave Community Medical Center, Inc., is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing medical care to area residents and businesses. The center’s board annually awards scholarships to selected Mojave High School graduates pursuing medical careers.

Improving service

“Due to the increasing number of patients the clinic serves, we are studying plans to expand our hours of service and, eventually, the building, so we can provide additional services to Mojave residents,” Deaver said.

Other Mojave-area medical services include Hall’s Ambulance and a medevac helicopter operated by Mercy Air. Both services are based at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

“We also work closely with the Tehachapi, East Kern (California City), Muroc, and Antelope Valley healthcare districts to improve the availability and quality of medical services in East Kern and the Antelope Valley,” Deaver said.

Editor’s Note: Famed pilot Dick Rutan, who serves on the EKAD board, said he has one of these devices in his cockpit when he flies. They are useful for warding off hypoxia, which is a lack of oxygen that begins with euphoria and can end in death for pilots.