- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 23, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Air Methods Corp. has shut down four medical helicopter bases in Oklahoma due to financial burdens.

Officials with the Colorado-based company confirmed Monday that after analyzing operations, they decided to close the MediFlight bases in Chickasha, Seminole, Keefeton and at Riverside Airport in south Tulsa, The Oklahoman reported.

“In many cases, we are the only link between hospitals for patients who need more intensive care, which is a responsibility we take very seriously as we make these decisions,” officials said in a statement.

Doug Flanders, spokesman for Air Methods, said employees at the four bases were informed Sunday of the decision. The closure affects up to 15 workers on each base.

“We will work with all employees on opportunities for other positions within Air Methods or their next career steps,” Flanders said.

Air Methods plans to continue serving the coverage areas, but only for transporting newborns in the Chickasha area. Other patients will have to use alternative medical flight providers.

Tulsa Life Flight 5 in McAlester will provide services for the Seminole region and the Keefeton area. Tulsa Life Flight 2 in Pryor will handle the flights in the south Tulsa region.

The company cited the transportation costs as the reason for the closures. Its around-the-clock readiness costs nearly $3 million per year for each base, according to Air Methods. Repayment for services has not kept pace with their expenses.

Air Methods operates over 300 bases in 48 states, according to the company’s website.


Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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