Air Evac to close Elmore Co. air ambulance base - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Air Evac to close Elmore Co. air ambulance base

Posted: Updated:
Photo Source: Air Evac 64 Facebook page Photo Source: Air Evac 64 Facebook page
  • More newsMore>>

  • Family of slain USA student Gil Collar loses home in house fire

    Family of slain USA student Gil Collar loses home in house fire

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:04:13 GMT
    The family of Gil Collar, the University of South Alabama student who was shot and killed on campus in October of 2012, are picking up the pieces after losing their home in a house fire.More >>
    The family of Gil Collar, the University of South Alabama student who was shot and killed on campus in October of 2012, are picking up the pieces after losing their home in a house fire.More >>
  • Israeli children return to school after Gaza war

    Israeli children return to school after Gaza war

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:19:31 GMT
    Thousands of Israeli children in areas near the Gaza Strip went back to school Monday after spending the summer in bomb shelters as rockets and mortars rained on their communities during the 50-day Israel-Hamas...More >>
    Thousands of Israeli children in areas near the Gaza Strip went back to school Monday after spending the summer in bomb shelters as rockets and mortars rained on their communities during the 50-day Israel-Hamas war, while...More >>
  • Casting call held in Opelika

    Casting call held in Opelika

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:09 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:09:25 GMT
    Opelikans of all ages came out to audition for the movie "White Water" on Sunday.           "I've been acting at a lot at school and home and at my church too. Really getting ready for things I wouldMore >>
    Opelikans of all ages came out to audition for the movie "White Water" on Sunday.           "I've been acting at a lot at school and home and at my church too. Really getting ready for things I wouldMore >>
WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) -

Officials with Air Evac Lifeteam say they've made the decision to close their air ambulance base in Elmore County effective immediately. The base had been located in Wetumpka since 2006.

Low demand and reimbursement rates were the factors that led to the decision to close the base, according to a company statement released by its president, Seth Myers.

"The reimbursement issue, along with a low demand for patient transports, made it impossible for us to sustain operations at the base," Myers said. "As a result of the state's decision not to expand Medicaid, nearly a quarter of the residents we fly in Alabama are self-pay with very little means to pay medical expenses. For those patients covered by Medicaid, they currently reimburse just over $500 for the transport of an adult. The high fixed cost of air ambulance makes it impossible for us to continue to operate with no indication of improvement in sight."

The company has two other bases within an 80-mile flight range of Elmore County. They're located in Demopolis and LaGrange, Ga.

Before announcing the closure to the public, Myers met with employees at the base Tuesday morning to inform them of the decision. All affected crew members are being offered opportunities to work in other areas of the company or take advantage of a severance package.

Air Evac Lifeteam members living in Autauga, Bullock, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw, Elmore, Montgomery, Pike and Tallapoosa counties will receive a letter this week providing them with details and options regarding their membership, including an option for a prorated refund.

Upon learning of the Elmore County base closing, Sgt. Steve Jarrett with the Alabama Department of Public Safety said: "The helicopter provided invaluable service to people in need of emergency medical transportation, especially in rural areas of the state where it may take an ambulance much longer to respond. As a trooper, it made me feel more secure knowing there was a helicopter EMS transportation service available in case me or one of my fellow troopers was injured in the line of duty."

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow