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Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Air Evac moving to Kiwanis fairgrounds
Grice-H-DeWayne Web

The Kiwanis fairgrounds is getting a new permanent resident that will certainly get some attention. Our local Air Evac Lifeteam emergency helicopter flight service is relocating from the Statesboro Airport to the southeast portion of the Kiwanis Fair grounds parking lot adjacent to Highway 67.

Air Evac has entered into a long-term lease agreement with Bulloch Count,y who actually owns that small strip of land. The relocation of the service will give them better visibility and accessibility.

"On September 28, AirEvac 95 celebrated our fifth year in Statesboro but every day folks tell me that they had no idea we were based here," said Karen Grabenstein, AirEvac 95 program director. "We are excited about this move and hope that more folks will now understand that we are local."

Site preparation is underway at the location and they hope to complete the relocation this November. The new location will have a crew quarters that includes office space, living quarters, bedrooms, a supply room, a hanger for the helicopter, lighted FAA approved helipad and a regulated fuel port. The building will be landscaped and a security fence around the entire perimeter of the property will be constructed.

Air Evac 95 has 17 employees, including four local pilots, one area pilot, eight full time medical crew members, which consists of four registered nurses and four paramedics, a part time medical crew member, a mechanic, membership manager Sandi Cryder and Grabenstein.

Air Evac Lifeteam is based out of O'Fallon, Mo., and through their alliance with AirMedCare Network, boasts the largest air ambulance membership network in America. Currently the network has more than 2 million members, which provides them access to more than 220 aircraft located throughout 32 states.

Air Evac is a membership-based service. For $65 per year your entire family is covered, which protects you financially if you have to use the service. They will fly anyone with a need regardless of membership or insurance.

However, if you are a member and use their service, they will accept whatever your insurance covers as total payment. With these flights sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars, this may be the most affordable insurance policy you will ever purchase.

AirEvac 95 Lifeteam covers a seven-county area, which includes Bulloch, Bryan, Candler, Evans, Effingham, Jenkins and Screven.

Most of their flights take critically injured patients to Level One trauma centers in Savannah or Augusta. They will fly to the closest and most equipped facility based on the patient's medical needs.

The Bell 206 helicopters that the service uses fly at 135 knots and can have patients in Savannah from most locations in their coverage area in under 30 minutes.

In trauma, the level of care you get within the first hour of the accident is the most critical in terms of survivorship and recovery. The faster you can get to a Level One trauma center, the better your outcome could be.

"As a local emergency room physician at EGRMC, I see daily the tremendous benefit of having the Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter and flight medics rapidly available," said Ruthie Crider, MD, FACEP. "Our trauma and critical care patients are able to be transferred seamlessly and quickly to larger trauma centers to receive the best medical care possible."

"We have begun working with local city and county governments to create a coverage program that would include every citizen," said Sandie Cryder, membership manager. "Ludowici is the first municipality that has entered into an agreement with us guaranteeing coverage for all of its households. We will be presenting this plan to all of the local governmental entities in our coverage area. This option provides an affordable way to ensure every resident is covered."

For more information on membership for your family or your employees you can contact Sandie Cryder at (912) 425-0296.

Please email DeWayne at or give him a call at (912) 489-9499.



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