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South Carolina Air Ambulance Closure Worry First Responders

Above photo: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. – The closure of LifeNet in this South Carolina county is making first responder rethink how it responds to emergencies.

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WPDE-TV reports the air ambulance company shut down last Thursday without warning. Midway Fire Chief Doug Eggiman tells the station the helicopter was the only 15 minutes away during an emergency. The next closest helicopter is now 30 minutes away.

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Because of the air transport’s closure, an ambulance has to take patients to Grand Strand Medical Center. That could be a 40 minute drive away.

“It’s one of those things where you can only play the hand you’re dealt,” Eggiman told the station.

Air Methods, LifeNet’s parent company, did not return the station’s request for comment.