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.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • 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.

 

More Stories in Local

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Unexpected Fireworks Leave Some Veterans On Edge

Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may face obstacles during the holiday weekend. Military With PTSD, a nonprofit organization, has started a campaign to help educate people about the effects of fireworks on people with PTSD.


The confederate soldier statue stands outside of the Alachua County Administration Building. Due to recent controversy in the nation, the monument's downtown location is raising concern for the local community.

Protesters Appeal To City Commission Over Confederate Statue

Protesters seeking to remove the downtown statue of the Confederate soldier spoke to city officials for the first time since the campaign began in late June. This is the first of several efforts that will go on over the next two weeks among protesters who call for the County Commission to take down the statue.


Grace Marketplace Reflects On First Year

Grace Marketplace has served the local homeless community for one year. The community is part of a 10-year plan, conceived in 2005, to end homelessness.


John Denny, the head brewer and a co-owner of First Magnitude Brewing Co., poses with the growlers the brewery sells. Starting July 1, breweries can legally sell the 64-ounce size in Florida. Nicole Gomez / WUFT News

Gainesville Brewers Celebrate Legal 64-Ounce Growlers

As SB 186 goes into effect Wednesday, Gainesville brewers are preparing to celebrate. Breweries expect the 64-ounce growlers to attract people from outside the state that will come and patronize Florida’s growing craft beer industry.


The downtown clock has frozen in time. Currently the city is reviewing all avenues to resolve the problem but does not have a time table yet for the clock to start ticking again.

City Still Looking For Solution To Repair Historic Downtown Clock

The downtown Gainesville clock has stopped working. The city does not yet know the extent of the problem, but is looking into how long it will take to fix.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments