Local News

February 24, 2014

Ambulance Inc. shakes up flight services

Disagreement with Air Methods leads to new policy



Laurel County Sheriff John Root, too, said he did not feel that the 9-1-1 board had any input in the contract between the ambulance service and medical helicopter service, as they are both private companies.

“We told them it was fine with us,” Root said. “There was no action.”

Root also lauded the new arrangement, saying it would alleviate dispatch services from “tying up the lines” to contact different medical flight providers.

“If dispatch called Air Methods and they didn’t have anyone available, then they would have to call PHI,” Root explained. “That is a lot of phone tie-ups. Now, if the ambulance service says they need to fly someone out, the call goes to PHI, then if they don’t have someone available, then the call goes to Air Methods and on to other providers. This way is more time efficient for Dispatch and the patient.”

In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Jordan Cox, regional business manager for Air Methods, said he was not aware of the new agreement between Ambulance Inc. and PHI.

“We have a good working relationship with Ambulance Inc. and PHI,” Cox said. “PHI and Air Methods operate the same type of aircraft and they’re our next door neighbors at the airport. If the county or Ambulance Inc. have a preference about who to call, that’s entirely up to them.”

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