Air Evac Lifeteam will hold a ribbon cutting and open house at 1 p.m. Thursday, at the Air Evac Lifeteam base in Brazil.
The base, located at the Brazil Clay County Airport on I-70, about five miles south of town, has been in operation since late March.
Air Evac Base Nurse Supervisor Sandi Pearson said she encourages everyone in the community to stop by and visit with members of the Air Evac crew and view the helicopter and medical equipment. Refreshments will be served. Air Evac Lifeteam Director of Base Operations Daniel Sweeza and other Air Evac representatives will speak at the event.
The Brazil base is one of 37 bases in the Air Evac Lifeteam system, which extends into 14 states throughout the central U.S.
"Air Evac believes air ambulances should be placed in areas of greatest need in rural communities where response times may be long and critical lifesaving care may be hours away," said Air Evac Area Manager Gary Evans. "Death rates from life-threatening traumatic injuries are three times higher in rural areas than in urban areas, mainly because of the time it takes a patient to get to appropriate medical care. Our goal is improve those statistics."
Air Evac Lifeteam crews includes a pilot, registered nurse and paramedic. The crew is on duty 24 hours a day and can respond to the scenes of medical emergencies or make hospital-to-hospital transports. The base responds to calls within a 70-mile radius.
"Our medical crews have received advanced emergency training so they can begin care right at the scene of the medical emergency and continue it en route to the hospital," Evans said. "We work closely with local EMS agencies, recognizing that good patient care requires a team effort. Our job is to be an extension of those services by providing rapid medical transport when a higher level of care is needed."
Air Evac Lifeteam offers a unique membership program. Members who use the service for a life or limb threatening emergency will not receive a bill for the flight. If the member has insurance, Air Evac will bill the insurance company, but members will not have to pay co-payments or deductibles. Air Evac also flies non-members, but they are billed in full for flights.
Memberships are valid throughout Air Evac's 37 service areas. Annual memberships cost $40 per person, $45 for a couple or $50 for a household. Lifetime memberships cost $500.
For more information about Air Evac Lifeteam services or membership benefits, call 1-800-793-0010, or visit http:// www.lifeteam.net on the Internet.