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STATCARE plans to move helicopter to Corydon

Harrison County’s Emergency Medical Services will receive a highly anticipated addition this summer.
STATCARE air ambulance service plans to relocate its helicopter base from Bowman Field in Louisville to the new Harrison County Hospital grounds in Corydon by June. The Corydon base will be the only STATCARE location in Southern Indiana. (STATCARE also has helicopters in two Kentucky locations: Bedford and Glasgow.)
STATCARE has been looking at Corydon for an opportunity to offer space for several years, according to Ron Walter, its regional director.
Harrison County ‘approached us, and it was a mutual decision,’ said Walter. ‘Our initial talks were very promising and it fit into both of our long-term goals. We have a lot of regular customers in that area. This area of Indiana has been very loyal to the STATCARE program over the years.’
The building of the Harrison County Hospital presented an opportunity for a permanent station.
‘It will give us the opportunity to work together,’ said Walter. ‘Helping them do their mission helps both of us.’
The new location will allow educational possibilities with STATCARE and EMS, not only for employees but the public, said Gary Kleeman, director of Emergency Medical Services at Harrison County Hospital.
One of the main reasons for the move from Bowman Field is the limited amount of flights in the metro area, according to Walter. They are trying to relocate outside of the city limits, which will help better serve customers.
‘Over the past years, many air medical programs (nationwide) have found it beneficial to move their aircraft outside of the city limits into rural communities where the patients are coming from. This will benefit both the patients and the flight program.’ Walter said.
STATCARE rarely, if ever, transports patients from the Louisville Metro region to city hospitals, according to Walter. Those patients are better served by local EMS services transporting them directly into the Louisville hospitals, he said.
The helicopter based at the new medical facility in Corydon will also provide service to Crawford, Floyd, Washington and Perry counties in Indiana, and Meade, Hardin, Breckenridge, Hancock and Bullitt counties and the Louisville Metro area in Kentucky, according to Walter.
‘Over the past years, these areas have been very loyal to STATCARE and this move will improve service to those areas,’ Walter said.
‘We look forward to it,’ said Kleeman. ‘I think it will definitely be able to enhance the entire EMS of our county.’
As of October 2007, the owner of the STATCARE program, CJ Systems Aviation Group, was purchased by Air Methods Corp. Through this acquisition, the three helicopters and one fixed-wing King Air 200 under the STATCARE banner will become part of a much larger system within the state of Kentucky known as Life-Net of Kentucky, said Walter.
This new air medical service in Kentucky operated by Air Methods will operate 11 helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft. In addition to Corydon and the two previously mentioned Kentucky sites, Air Methods will have helicopters based in Kentucky in Elizabethtown, Somerset, Frankfort, London, Mount Sterling, Hazard, Paintsville and Ashland, in addition to the King Air at Bowman Field.
‘This collection of aircraft and highly trained personnel will provide the citizens in the area with the most rapidly available medical transport system anywhere,’ Walter said.
The hospital and Air Methods are currently working on a lease agreement for the space, said Walter.
Air Methods Corp. is the nation’s largest provider of air medical emergency transport services and systems.
The company transports more than 84,000 patients annually who require intensive medical care from either the scene of an accident or general-care hospitals to highly-skilled trauma centers or tertiary care centers. Air Methods operates a fleet of more than 340 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in 42 states and is headquartered in Englewood, Colo.