Panama City News Herald: Emergency air medical service essential in North Florida

by Walter Dartland

Last month, a terrible accident occurred in our area that reminded us of the importance of quick access to the best possible medical care. However, one key component of our care system is at risk, and everyone who loves the North Florida way of life should be concerned.

The accident occurred at a festival in Apalachicola, where people were injured when a ride suffered a mechanical failure. One of the victims had extensive injuries and needed to be flown out by an emergency air medical to a hospital in Tallahassee - a trip that would have taken significantly longer had emergency air medical services not been available.

North Florida's vast expanses of rural land are a true natural wonder, offering limitless pleasures to those who don't like the size and pace of city life. But country living also carries some challenges, and an important one is a limited ability to get to a hospital quickly.

That injured festival-goer was just one example of how emergency air medical service is a life-saving resource that must remain available. It may be a nice option for the big cities, but it's absolutely critical for the small communities that define most of North Florida.