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Helicopter Ambulance Service Will Continue, Despite Base Closure

Life Flight Network
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The helicopter ambulance service Life Flight will continue to airlift patients in the Tallahassee area, despite shutting down its operations center in Midway this week.

Credit Life Flight Network /
The Florida Channel

Air Methods, the parent company of Life Flight, says it shut down the base closest to Tallahassee because of a decrease in demand for its services. But the agency will continue to serve patients in the area, by operating from outlying bases in Marianna, Live Oak and Camilla, Georgia. Warren Jones with Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare says the hospital is still trying to determine what the closure could mean for its emergency operations.

“In a trauma situation, every minute counts in the care of a patient. So we’re looking to gather the information from Air Methods to determine what the difference in response times will be,” he said.

“At this point were working with Leon County Emergency Medical Services in trying to gather the info to determine how it will affect our patients. As the area’s only trauma center we’re obviously very concerned about availability of the service and the difference in time it may take to get a patient here to the trauma center,” Jones added.

The agency is not the only medical airlift service in the area; ShandsCair also transports patients to local hospitals.

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As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.