New Air Ambulance in Moberly Should Cut Down on Wait Times

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MOBERLY - Randolph County will soon get its first medical helicopter. A company out of West Plains, Mo., Air Evac Lifeteam, plans to bring 15 new jobs to the area and save time bringing patients in need to hospitals faster. Currently, the Randolph County ambulance district waits 15 to 30 min on average for a helicopter to arrive from Columbia.

Paramedic Superintendent Clay Joinor says it will be more efficient and save more lives.

"There are certain situations where we can get to Columbia as fast as an air ambulance, but our main concern is on the highway you never know what will happen," Joinor said. "A flat tire, a wreck or a deer, so for the most part flying by air ambulance is going to be safer and quicker for the patient."

The new Air Evac based in Moberly is hiring four nurses, four paramedics, four pilots, one mechanic, one program director and one sales representative.

Randolph County residents are not being taxed more for this. Since it's a private company, they will pay more if they ever have to use the helicopter. Air Evac Lifeteam started leasing property alongside the Randolph County Ambulance District in December and would like to see this base up and running as soon as possible. 

Construction is ongoing with the new office building for Air Evac Lifeteam built. As for the the hangar, or the helicopter garage, the pieces to build it are there but under snow. 

Moberly Heart and Vascular doctor, Azam Khaja says the helicopter will help bring patients to him faster. 

"We won't have to wait on other helicopters, calling Columbia and seeing if they have a free helicopter available to transport. If we have it here it allows us to take care of more sicker patients," Khaja said. 

Moberly will be the 12th base in Missouri for Air Evac Lifeteam. It could be up and flying by March.  


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