Gadsden Considering New Medical Helicopter Contract

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

Gadsden County is doing everything it can to save money and that could mean finding new options for a medical helicopter. But its current medivac vendor is disappointed, saying it has served Gadsden well and doesn't understand the logic for the change.

In Gadsden County, the Air Medic Two and its staff are stationed at the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy. The owner/operator--Air Methods--says it has efficiently served Gadsden County for four years and they have no plans of leaving, but that could change.

Brian Beasley, the Gadsden County EMS Director said, "It's never been placed out, for RFP--request for proposal and it was just, felt it was time for the county to basically request a proposal from different vendors to see what other options may be out there for the county."

Air Methods says it has provided service to the local government for free and the recent request for proposals from other vendors was shocking. Randy Layman, with Air Methods said, "Instead of coming to us and saying can you help us work through this and can you be a partner, they decide to throw out an RFP without talking to us."

While the county says it has a right to see all other beneficial options, Air Methods believes Gadsden is trying to fix something that's not broken.

Layman said, "Our point is, we provide the service already in the county at no cost to the citizens, so why are they interested in risking county money--citizen's money for something that they already have."

The Gadsden County Board of Commissioners met on this issue Tuesday night. The county says it will move forward with discussions with both Air Methods and a potential new vendor, PHI Air Medical.

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