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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Emergency helicopter service hopes to cover rural areas with member program

  • Living in wide open spaces where neighbors are far and few between has its benefits.


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  •   Living in wide open spaces where neighbors are far and few between has its benefits.
      One downside, however, can be receiving timely emergency services.
      Air Evac Lifeteam, a helicopter/medical team service that transports patients to hospitals via flight is hoping to make residents better aware about its membership services.
      While cost to airlift a victim of an accident or other life-threatening incident runs about $19,000, a yearly membership fee of $50 for an individual ($55 for a couple and $60 for family of 3) covers the expense, and if used, means the patient is not billed for the flight.
      “We have based many of our air ambulances in rural areas. And one thing that keeeps us in those areas are memberships,” said Sherry Eidt, Air Evac Lifeteam sales manager/coordinator.
      The closest helicopter hub for Air Evac to Morehouse Parish is a 16-minute flight from Rayville; Air Evac covers service in 12 parishes at various hubs.
      Eidt said that an average of only about 5 percent of populations in rural areas are familiar with the membership program.
      “It's a valuable thing to hold,” Eidt said.
      Air Evac has teamed up with local organizations like the Mer Rouge Lions Club to get the word out, which was spurred by Air Evac's response to the tragic train accident there two months ago that killed two adults and injured one child.
      When a Lions Club member makes a referral for a membership purchase, the club in return receives a $10 to $15 donation.
      Eidt said membership numbers have gone up in Mer Rouge thanks in part to the partnership with the civi club.
      But Mer Rouge accounts for one small overall section of Morehouse, she underscored.
      For more information on the program, contact Eidt at 601.597.0087.

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