Saturday, December 13, 2014

EDITORIAL: Martin County may be close to resolving air medical transport issue

December 13-- PROBLEM SOLVED?:   Martin County has been relying on St. Lucie County's medical helicopter to transport seriously injured accident victims since January.

The County Commission may be close to resolving this disconcerting situation.

On Tuesday, commissioners will consider a draft contract with PHI Air Medical, a national air ambulance provider with 65 bases throughout the country.

The proposed five-year contract requires PHI Air Medical to provide a certified medical helicopter -- and all associated functions -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and includes aircraft operations, pilots, aircraft maintenance, and mechanics.

The total annual expense to the county is $2.4 million, though this would be offset by fees collected from insurance companies and private billing. Any shortfall would be made up with property tax dollars.

Martin County has gone far too long without its own designated air medical transport provider.

County commissioners need to resolve this issue Tuesday.


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