Medevac Company Leaves Santa Fe - News - @ JEMS.com


Santa Fe Patients May Have to Wait for Medevac

PHI Air Medical will fly in from Albuquerque base


 
 

PHAEDRA HAYWOOD, The Santa Fe New Mexican | | Monday, July 12, 2010


A medical helicopter company that transports patients to and from hospitals around the state is shutting its Santa Fe office, causing concern that patients in the northern part of the state will have longer wait times for emergency medical evacuation.

A PHI Air Medical spokesman said Friday the company will continue to serve the Santa Fe and Taos area, but will dispatch from its Albuquerque base. The spokesman said the decision to close the Santa Fe office was based on economic factors, and the fact that there is another transport company based here.

"We don't feel like people will be losing anything with this," the spokesman said. "The decision to provide service from our existing bases we feel is not going to leave the community without service."

But emergency medical providers up north are worried the company's closure could result in longer wait times for critically ill or injured patients.

"There might be another air service in Santa Fe," said Taos County Emergency Medical Services director Joaquin Gonzales. "But my concern

is, what if they are off on another flight and we have a major accident her in Taos? We'll have to wait

55 minutes to an hour for them to come from Albuquerque or Farmington to transport these patients. For an inter-hospital transfer it will be OK. But with a shooting, stabbing or car wreck, you can't sit on the side of the highway waiting for the next available helicopter. I think personally, as a service director and paramedic, there is a need for an additional helicopter in Northern New Mexico."

Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center CEO Alex Valdez said Friday the hospital uses PHI about 30 or 40 times per month. He said about a third of those calls involve transporting patients from hospitals or accident scenes north of Santa Fe. He said he didn't know how much the hospital uses TriState CareFlight, the other provider with a Santa Fe base.

"This issue just hit so we haven't really had time to process its implications for us," Valdez said.

Valdez said the hospital is working with other emergency medical care systems around the state to make sure the most up-to-date equipment is available more places in north central New Mexico, which could cut down on the need for emergency medical transport.

Neither company would provide the exact number of calls it handles.

But TriState CareFlight director of operations Charlie Reid said he thinks his company can easily handle the demand for medical air transport in the northern part of the state on its own.

"It would not be any problem for us picking up PHI's slack, Reid said. "It would really just put us in a position of being comfortably busy."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, medevac, finances, air ambulance

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Over Half of Seattle Fire Stations Test Positive for MRSA

Surprisingly high results come from test kits based on earlier study.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

AMR Crew Rescues Mississippi Driver from Fiery Crash

Rescue during crash in Jackson is caught on video.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Tempe’s Drug Dilemma

Dealing with overdoses.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

I’m a Paramedic

Profile of a Northshore LIJ medic.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Chemical Investigation

Chemicals and suspicious package are probed at two locations
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Cincinnati Overpass Collapse

Fatal pancake collapse occurs during demolition.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >