by Ardie Arvidson
An air ambulance crew from AirMedCare Network landed its helicopter Tuesday afternoon at the Florence Airport at the FBO station, 500 S. McCall Blvd. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate AirMedCare Network joining of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber ambassadors showed their support by participating in the event.
Pastor Eugene Park Sr. of Mullins and the Rev. Steven Curry Gallego of Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Florence spoke and prayed.
Chris Frye is the base manager of the air ambulance medical transport located in Sumter. He said they have been in this area for 3½ years. The medical transport has been in operation for 36 years, he said. The transport has seven helicopters and one airplane in South Carolina. They are spread throughout the state in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Sumter, Mullins, Charleston and Walterboro.
In Sumter there are four pilots, one full-time mechanic, three nurses and three paramedics, he said.
Frye said they are in the business of transporting people to trauma surgery units to help save lives.
They arrived in Florence in a Bell 407.
Lionel Grant, the membership sales manager for AirMedCare Network, cut the ribbon. He said they have a membership plan where a household can join as one to take care of out-of-pocket expenses when being flown by an AMCN provider. You don’t have to be a member of their plan to be transported by the service. A yearly or monthly fee is charged. With a membership, members of a household receive ID cards and stickers for their drivers’ licenses.
“Their first job is to save lives,” Grant said.
AirMedCare Network is one of the largest air medical membership networks in America. It provides coverage across 320 locations in 38 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.
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