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Life-Saving Helicopter Base Announces Closure

Life-Saving Helicopter Base Announces Closure
Posted at 4:21 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 15:21:07-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - A helicopter base that provided life-saving flights to the Big Bend area has announced that it will close its doors on Tuesday.

LifeFlight Tallahassee, who is under Air Methods, announced that although it's closing the base located in Quincy, the company will continue to provide services to the county from three other bases.

“We would like to thank all of the EMS, Fire, first responders and health care professionals who all supported our service. We'll continue to provide lifesaving care to the Tallahassee community via our Live Oak, Camilla and Marianna bases,” said Christina Ward, an Air Methods spokesperson.

County Administrator Vincent Long said in a letter to county commissioners that a decrease in need for emergency flights, a lack of outside funding from the county, and additional helicopter bases led to the company's decision to call it quits.

"Air Methods was operating Life Flight Tallahassee at its own financial risk and as a fee-for-service operation receiving no outside subsidies for providing the services," explained Long, "Air Methods indicated that the number of flights conducted by the Life Flight Tallahassee base have decreased significantly over the past several months to a point where they were unable to financially sustain the base."

However, Young also said officials are continuing to evaluate the impact of the closure to identify possible solutions.