Competing medical-helicopter companie...

Competing medical-helicopter companies set up in Lancaster area | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 22 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Jul 5, 2011, titled Competing medical-helicopter companies set up in Lancaster area | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

MedFlight of Ohio has set up a temporary base at the Fairfield County Airport near Lancaster.

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no fly

Olive Hill, KY

#2 Jul 5, 2011
Air Evac is a joke. They have had many more crashes then was stated above. Fairfield County beware....AEL will kill you families and still send you a bill. MedFlight has been around for 25 years. Many of the crew came from SkyMed and Grant Lifeflight. These people and 25+ years experience and will save your life. Dont trust a company that hires people with 3 years experience in the medical field.
Tim

Delaware, OH

#3 Jul 5, 2011
I love it. First MedFlight was not interested. Once Air Evac Lifeteam moves in, they are interested. MedFlight should have moved in first.
Lancaster resident

Columbus, OH

#4 Jul 5, 2011
As long as they don't take me to the Farifield Medical Center. Take me to Logan, Columbus, or let me die. Farifield Medical Center has to be the worst excuse for a hospital that I know.
Roll a car at 7 pm, ER by 8 pm, still waiting for a Dr at 11 pm. Ask to go to a real hospital about 2 am. 11 hours later, a 'nurse' comes it to clean cornstalks out of my arm, right before an ambulance gets there to transport me to Mt Carmel East. I wouldn't let her touch me & I refused to pay the bill. Like I said: take me to Logan, Columbus, or let me die.
Dealt with them before

Broken Arrow, OK

#5 Jul 5, 2011
Air Evac Lifeteam is the most unsafe most ethical air medical program in the industry. The aircraft they fly are underpowered and not suited for this type of work; in fact they are currently being looked at in Tennessee for not even having the basic necessities such as AIR CONDITIONING. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THEM. THEIR MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM IS A JOKE AND SO ARE THEY!!!!!!
Dealt with them before

Broken Arrow, OK

#6 Jul 5, 2011
I meant to say unethical.....
Frankie

Columbus, OH

#7 Jul 5, 2011
The harsh statements against Air Evac sound like Medflight of Ohio employees who are worried at losing their jobs.
Farmer

Crosby, TX

#8 Jul 5, 2011
Its obvious that patient care is secondary to profit. For the first time since 1982 Columbus doesn't have a helicopter in the metro area. The moving of Medflights Columbus based aircraft to Fairfield Co. has done nothing but increase response times to Franklin and Delaware Counties. AEL is now looking at Southern Delaware for there next base. Way to go Medflight management.
Fairfield county

Delaware, OH

#9 Jul 5, 2011
I think the people at Medflight have better things to do than complain on here. I work in Fairfield county on A fire department, and we tried Air Evac. The experience was awful, from beginning to end. From lying about their ETAs, the crews lying about Medflight's services, asking our trauma patient for insurance informatin before lifting, etc. We'll be going back to Medflight for our next scene. They are always professional.
Spooktackular

United States

#10 Jul 5, 2011
Lancaster resident wrote:
As long as they don't take me to the Farifield Medical Center. Take me to Logan, Columbus, or let me die. Farifield Medical Center has to be the worst excuse for a hospital that I know.
Roll a car at 7 pm, ER by 8 pm, still waiting for a Dr at 11 pm. Ask to go to a real hospital about 2 am. 11 hours later, a 'nurse' comes it to clean cornstalks out of my arm, right before an ambulance gets there to transport me to Mt Carmel East. I wouldn't let her touch me & I refused to pay the bill. Like I said: take me to Logan, Columbus, or let me die.
If you had stayed in Fairfield Medical you probably would have died. I wouldn't take an in-law there.
Chris

Richmond, VA

#11 Jul 5, 2011
I am not a Medflight employee, nor do I even live in the state that this is occurring in. I am a flight nurse in another state (not competing with AEL) that can provide facts about the service they offer.
FACTS:
AEL flies old Bell 206 single engine aircraft that are cheap to fly. They operate their bases with little overhead and rely on memberships to fund their operations. This marketing strategy allows them to be the "preferred" providers with their customers that are fearful of not being able to pay for the service. Most reputable customers, while attempting to be profitable, provide services regardless of their customers ability to pay or their membership status.
AEL will move into an area and employ the local EMS and FIRE guys with the expectation that they will increase call volumes for their new employer. They are not the most experienced providers available for the jobs, just the ones with the influence.
AEL is criticized in numerous markets, recently in TN, for not providing basic comfort care such as air-conditioned aircraft. Imagine flying in the sun, on a 90degree day without proper AC. AEL recently stated in a press release that they would not upgrade their aircraft because of the expense.
AEL has had a much higher than acceptable rate of crashes.
AEL does not offer aircraft capable of IFR (instrument flight) in the event of bad visibiliy, nor do they offer flight crews with NVG (night vision goggles) capable of visualizing unsafe conditions on approach.departure from rural scenes.

There are more deficiencies that could be discussed. Bottom line... I would NEVER place a loved family member in the care of AEL.

I do not know anything about Medflight but I can see from their aircraft picture they are operating a new EC135 aircraft, with dual engines and advanced avionics. If they are willing to invest in the proper equipment to do the job RIGHT, they would get my call EVERY time.
Here you go

Delaware, OH

#12 Jul 6, 2011
Think of it this way. If Wal-Mart started their own helicopter service, you'd have Air Evac. A program that drops into communities that don't want them, tries to bend the local rules, operates cheap and old equipment, and hires people with little experience. All for the sake of making money. I mean, they have INVESTORS. That says enough to me. Do any basic Google search on them, and you'll see they provide more bad than good to this area.
Richard

Lexington, KY

#13 Jul 6, 2011
Looking Good Deb!
Pro-Medflight

United States

#14 Jul 6, 2011
Go Medflight and run Air Evac back to West Plains. I've used medflight for years, and i'm sticking with medflight.... Of course, sell the public the membership, to force people to use you.
Toni Johnson

West Plains, MO

#15 Jul 7, 2011
It's ridiculous for MedFight to base a helicopter right next to Air Evac when there undoubtedly are other counties in Ohio that would benefit more from their services. This is a classic knee-jerk reaction by a medical provider who apparently is more worried about competition than patient care. Best of luck to Air Evac.
Knows

Cincinnati, OH

#16 Jul 7, 2011
Used to work at Air Evac. Be scared of Air Evac...very scared...Do some research and you will see this company is owned by investors who want to make a profit off of you not unlike scam mortgages or Bernie Madoff. If you fly in Air Evac, you are at grave risk. I'm talking to you patients AND medical crew. If you request Air Evac, you put your patient in terrible jeopardy. Do some research, wont take much. There is stuff on faa.gov too.
Informed

Brunswick, OH

#17 Jul 9, 2011
I would like to address some of the above posts.
#1. SAFETY RECORD: I suggest researching the safety record of any Helicopter EMS (HEMS) agency before using them. This can be done by visiting the website for the National Trasportation Safety Board at www.ntsb.gov . They have all official accident report for EVERY aviation accident. MedFlight is not a searchable entity because they are not a part 135 operator, they are merely a customer of whatever helicopter company they have a contract with (currently Metro Aviation, used to be with OmniFlight). A MedFlight helicopter could crash today and it wouldn't be called a MedFlight accident, it would be a Metro Aviation accident. You can find accidents for OmniFlight, Metro Aviation, and Air-Evac because they are all FAA approved part 135 operators. MedFlight does not own their helicopters, nor do their pilots work for MedFlight, they work for Metro Aviation.
Air Evac has had some HEMS accidents as can be seen in the NTSB reports, however when you look at the statistics Air-Evac is well better than the national average. When you operate over 100 helicopters, logic says that will have 100x as many accidents as the guys that own 1 helicopter. Air-Evac cosistanly beats this average and has an outstanding safety record.
There have been criticisms regarding the fact that Air-Evac uses single engine Bell Helicopters, with regards to safety. Again, I urge people to investigate the NTSB, www.ntsb.gov . There have been no HEMS accidents recorded that were attributed to single engine helicopter engine failure. The Bell 206 has the best safety record of any helicopter flying with regards to flight hours per accident. And btw, MedFlight's new helicopters are EC-130's which are... you guessed it, SINGLE ENGINE!!!(Chris from Sterling, VA)
#2 CREW: The first comment (from No Fly of Morehead, KY) says "Dont trust a company that hires people with 3 years experience in the medical field". Well that's funny because that is exactly MedFlight's requirement as seen on their employment opportunity webpage. http://www.medflight.com/Employment/employmen...
MedFlight is proud of the fact that their crewmembers do online training quarterly and core competencies once a year. I guess that's ok but nothing to be proud of. Air-Evac crewmembers do monthly online training and core competencies twice a year
The best way to find out about the experience of the crew is to get to know them. At Air-Evac you won't need to wait for an "open house" day, every day is open house. Stop by and talk to the crewmembers and pilots (who are ALL Air-Evac employees, not contracted employees from a vendor like MedFlight's pilots are). Bring the kids and take pictures with the crew and helicopter.
Informed

Brunswick, OH

#18 Jul 9, 2011
#3 EQUIPMENT: I can't personally speak for the bases in TN, but I can tell you that the helicopter in Fairfield Co. DOES have air conditioning!!! So does the one in Chillicothe, so does the one in Portsmouth. Stop by the base and look at the helicopter, ask the crew about the A/C and have them show it to you... they will be happy to. Chris from Sterling, VA stated that AE does not have NVG's. That is a blatant lie. Again stop by the base and ask the crew to see their NVG's. EVERY AE helicopter has NVG's for the crewmembers.
#4 NOT IFR CAPABLE: Of course they aren't IFR capable, neither is MedFlight, or most HEMS agencies. It doesnt make sense it this area to be IFR capable. That is more suitable for areas with multi-hour flight times. If an EMS helicopter goes IFR, then they have to divert to an airport with an instrument approach procedure, call a ground ambulance to meet them at the airport, transfer the patient to the ambulance and transport them by ground to the hospital. With the transport times in our area it would be better for the patient to just send them by ground in the first place as opposed to delaying their transport by flying to an airport to rendezvous with the ambulance.
#5 MEMBERSHIP: You hear a lot of people harping on how bad Air-Evac is and how they will only fly people with a membership... again a lie. Employees at Air-Evac enjoy the benefits of not ever getting billed if they or their dependants are flown by an AE helicopter. A membership simply affords this same benefit to individuals or families for $60.00 a year. If you don't want it , don't get it. They will still be happy to fly you and provide the same level of care. Crewmembers typically are unaware of a patient's membership status anyway, so it doesn't change the care that you will receive.
Bottom line Air-Evac is a great company with experienced crewmembers AND pilots, who are always ready to answer the call of their fellows in need.
Informed

Brunswick, OH

#20 Jul 9, 2011
Sorry, 4000 character limit caused that one to be posted twice.
AEL ex- employee

Roanoke, VA

#21 Jul 24, 2011
Dont trust Air-Evac ! Period !!! Thats why i resigned because their safety record and safety theories are horrible !!!
Informed

Brunswick, OH

#22 Jul 27, 2011
I bet you "resigned"...

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