WUFT News

Emergency Helicopter Base Moves To Levy County, Allowing For Faster Response Times

By on November 19th, 2013

To reduce emergency response times, Air Methods recently moved the base location of its medical service helicopter from Cross City to Bronson.

Air Methods, an emergency medical helicopter operating corporation, moved the helicopter to outside of the Levy County Public Safety Complex.

The helicopter provides medical assistance to Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties.

Within 10 minutes of receiving an emergency call, the crew prepares the helicopter for departure and then takes off.

Flight paramedic Katie Rhoden said helicopter response time is crucial. As little as 10 minutes can make a difference in human tissue dying or the patient’s condition becoming more critical, she said.

The helicopter costs the county nothing. Air Methods charges patients directly for their services. The county provides the facility.

David Knowles, director of Levy County Public Safety, said the new location in Bronson works better for a rural area.

“It puts them in a better geographic area to support rural areas as opposed to being in town and coming out here and going back to town,” he said.


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  • Mark Williams

    Just hope they don’t pack up in the middle of the night like they did when they were stationed in Dixie Co. I was told by friends in Dixie Co that they had no idea that “their” life flight team was moving to Levy Co during the day, leaving them uncovered. Then they were really caught off guard that over night the helo disappeared. Seems I remember other helos under this companies name doing the same thing other places. Besides what happen with the Shands helicopter? I thought they served this area well for years.

    • Steve Richardson

      It seems these helicopters are popping up all over the place. Were there any studies done to see if the tri-county area was underserved? I know that the helicopter from Shands had covered this area for over 30 years. It would be interesting to find out what the true commitment is from this provider. If they don’t obtain enough flights are they also going to move somewhere else? How does Dixie County feel with this service leaving so abrubtly? There seems to be a lot of question and concerns.

  • Rick Whithead

    At a cost of $18,000 a transport.

  • Danny Raden

    Is Levy County that big to need a rescue chopper? We already have Mercedes Benz ambulances! Levys spending is out of control. It’s time to clean out the commission.

  • Terri O’Neal

    Not naming sources inside the local ems, but yesterday the helicopter got called for a medical call, had to stop at a different location to pick up a paramedic, then fly to pick up the patient. How did that save time? I also was told that a directive came out to basically fly out everything to support the flight program. My family better not get a $18,000 bill for a scratch that could have been driven just as quick. How does this get passed by our commissioners and how all of a sudden do we have so many new county ems trucks? Are our taxes going up this year again or where did that money come from?

  • Ricky Stephans

    Wow!!! That is cool that we have our own helicopter. I hate tight spaces so I hope I never have to be flown though. Seeing the video was informative but I am thinking how do they do CPR, or do anything in flight? Seems they have to almost stand up and reach over the next guy to get at the guy that is hurt. I don’t envy them. Best of luck.

 

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