Guardian Flight takes over all SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium medevacs on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
SEARHC Chief Operating Officer Dan Neumeister says a contract signed last week puts Guardian in charge of all medical evacuations.
“Guardian will be responsible for providing services wherever our clinics are. So at Angoon, (if) you need to fly out on a float plane, they’ll be responsible for either providing their own float plane or subcontracting out and getting a plane, putting their people on it and going to get our patients,” he says.
SEARHC laid off the nurses who staffed their own medevacs.
Guardian is Alaska’s largest medical evacuation operation, with bases in eight cities, including Sitka.
Neumeister says turning all medevacs over to Guardian will be simpler and more efficient.
“We had tried to perform the services ourselves part of each day. And we found that that was not as effective, even though we had very dedicated employees providing the service,” he says.
SEARHC has cut several programs this year to save money.