County partners to provide no cost "air care"

County partners with AirMethods to provide residents free medical helicopter transport.

During a June 30 special called meeting, Hampton County Council voted to spend nearly $50,000 of budget funding to provide residents with free medical air transport for a period of 12 months.

Contractually partnering with newly landed Hampton County business Air Methods' which provides helicopter medical rescue and transportation services, Hampton County residents will now receive free rides to a medical center if carried by an Air Methods helicopter. The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and will allow Hampton County residents free air care if they are injured in a service area of the company, for example, in Las Vegas or other cities the company operates. An individuals medical insurance will be bill, with any remaining balance being waved by the company for the next year.

According to Hampton County Administrator Rose Dobson-Elliott, last year there were 71 calls made by county EMS members for medical air transportation. At an average of $25-50K per flight, the savings to county residents could be in the millions, prompting county council to take a chance on the program for slightly less than $50,000 for the year.

After the initial year, the county will have the opportunity to amend the program or vacate the program completely. Allendale residents are offered the opportunity to pay a yearly fee to provide for free air transportation after a serious injury.

“Nobody ever thinks they will need it, until it happens to them,” said Dobson-Elliot. She went on to say most individuals within the county have a connection to someone who has been seriously injured and transported to a medical center via helicopter.

The Life Net 4 helicopter will be based at the Hampton County Airport for the next three to six months while their permanent offices are constructed at the Hampton Regional Medical Center. The company is currently renting temporary office space at the county-owned airport.

District One asks county for $2.3M

Hampton County Council heard a request for a TAN #Tax Anticipation Notice# to exceed $2.3 million from Hampton County School District One Deputy Superintendent Theresa Dobson during a June 26 regularly called meeting. The district is requesting the funding to purchase upgraded computer systems for use by district teachers.

According to Dobson, the current computer programs teachers within the district utilize are antiquated and do not allow teachers do perform certain state mandated tasks.

Council member Ronald Winn asked Dobson whether or not the computers and software would also benefit children in the classroom. Dobson stated the computers would allow for additional classroom educational material, but children would also greatly benefit from the software’s ability to allow educators to share information about students. The software system upgrades will also help with record keeping within the district.

“It’s been a long time since we purchased computers at District One,” Dobson told council. 

No action was taken on the TAN request by District One during the June 26 or June 30 meetings.

 

In other county council news:

  • Announced the Hampton County Council on Aging had recently received a new, state owned, transportation van from.
  • Lynn Bowers, of Hampton Regional Medical Center, was reappointed to the county Workforce Investment Board.
  • Voted to accept a request from Jasper County to amend the one-percent Industrial Park ordinance to include a new business to the Jasper County industrial park.
  • The final reading of the proposed 2017-18 fiscal year budget passed with a 4-1 vote during a June 30 special called meeting

Look for photos and comments by county officials during the AirMethods Life Net 4 Open House event in next Thursday's edition of The Guardian.