Life Air, an Ohio-based air ambulance service whose company roots stretch back twenty-six years to the creation of Life Ambulance Service Inc., has been acquired by Air Evac Lifeteam for an undisclosed sum.
A sister company of Life Ambulance Service, Life Air was incorporated in 2006 to provide rapid response services to nearby rural areas by utilizing air ambulances in addition to Life Ambulance’s ground response vehicles.
Air Evac Lifeteam, headquartered in West Plains, Missouri, is a service recognized for its services in rural areas. Air Evac’s President and CEO, Seth Myers, expects a seamless transition to take place, with personnel being unaffected and no service outages or interruptions. This is particularly relevant in the case of Air Evac, which provides services to some of its customers via a membership system that covers their service areas. This system is particularly well-suited for families who live far out in rural areas who may require being flown out by helicopter if they experience a life or limb-threatening medical emergency.
These kind of helicopter ambulance services are so needed to save lives in rural regions that in fact, this month, the small town of Chapel Hill, Tennessee began offering water customers the option to make installment payments to Air Evac by adding a fee to their monthly utility bills. By Febrary 2nd, four Chapel Hill residents had signed up for the plan.
“My understanding is that we’re trying to make it a seamless transition. Many of the crew have already undergone training with Air Evac to learn how they do things, which is not very much different than we do it. So there will be no break in service. We’re really quite comfortable with them.” Life Ambulance’s Medical Director Dr. Wayne Wheeler told Frank Lewis of the Portsmouth Daily Times.
Dr. Wheeler also stated that Life Ambulance had been looking for a partner due to the capital needs of the company.
Life Ambulance’s medical helicopter sites in Chillicothe and Portsmouth, Ohio will retain the Life Air name, with Air Evac Lifeteam employing the medical, pilot, and maintenance staff at the two bases. Life Ambulance’s owner Mike Pistole expressed that Air Evac’s commitment to maintaining current Life Air personnel was a key factor in the decision.
“Ground and air transportation services share many things in common, but also have some stark operational differences,” Pistole said. He explained that the new arrangement should allow both organizations to utilize their strengths and to leverage a mutual agreement of cooperation.
Air Evac operates a large fleet of Bell 206 helicopters in fourteen states with large rural areas surrounding Missouri. The acquiring of Life Air will add to this a BK 117 and Twin Star AS 355 F1, as well as two helicopter bases with 70-mile radii coverage areas in the state of Ohio.