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Published: Thursday, 2/26/2004

County to mull medical helicopter dispatches

Lucas County officials are meeting today to discuss whether the county's method of dispatching medical helicopters should be changed.

County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak requested the meeting after a story in The Blade yesterday about the response to a fatal accident Monday at Toledo Express Airport. A Life Flight helicopter based at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center was sent on an eight-minute flight to the airport, though a fully staffed ProMedica Air helicopter was at its home base one mile away on airport property.

The county has used a rotation system for dispatching helicopters within Lucas County since 1999 instead of dispatching the closest helicopter. Ms. Wozniak said she believes that system “might not make sense anymore.”

Commissioner Maggie Thurber added: “It appears to me that the protocol is based on fairness to the providers rather than service to the individuals.”

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