By TAMMI KATE LEDFORD
The Dallam Hartley Counties Hospital District and Dalhart Emergency Medical Services are receiving their wings. The Cessna 421 Air Ambulance will call the Dalhart Municipal Airport its home for the next year. Air Ambulance Stat (AAS) is a medical flight company based in Amarillo providing fixed wing medical air transportation. AAS is a division of O’Hara Air Services and has 4 additional planes located in the state of Texas including Childress.
“The additional service is at no expense to the tax payers,” explained Scott Leatherwood, EMS Director. AAS uses balance billing Leatherwood explained, this means AAS bills your insurance company and the patient does not receive a bill for any unpaid portion of the service unless they have not met their deductable. The newly added medical flight service will be in operation in the next few weeks. The fixed wing air ambulance will cut 20 minutes off the travel time to Amarillo and approximately two hours off of a patient transport to Lubbock. “In addition we (Dalhart EMS) will be the flight crew,” added Leatherwood. This single step will elevate the assessment time when releasing a patient to fly on Life Star. This could save up to an additional hour for a patient needing more advanced care.
Life Star will still be available for onsite trauma transportation; however AAS will handle transfer cases that are initiated from Coon Memorial Hospital. Also, AAS will be able to fly to Clayton for medical transports and Boise City upon completion of their new runway.
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