Concern in Frisco over possible departure of airborne ambulance

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 18 at 11:53 PM

FRISCO — CareFlite may be flying away from one of its locations in North Texas: A helicopter pad in Frisco at Fire Station 4 on Legacy Drive, just south of Main Street.

On Tuesday night, Frisco City Council members heard emotional testimony from a parent hoping the emergency medical services provider does not leave.

"It's not a matter of if he will need a CareFlite, but when," said one parent with her son by her side.

It's still unclear if the company will, in fact, move.

A letter to the city from CareFlite indicates it will cease operations in July. But another letter from Fricso Fire Department Chief Mark Piland says CareFlite "will not move its operation if the city or the Fire Department wishes them to stay and base out of Fire Station 4."

Our calls to the company's CEO were not returned. Frisco Mayor Maher Maso says it's their decision, and stresses this is a regional service and not a city service.

CareFlite indicates in a letter that because there are more trauma facilities and faster ground transport, there's been a decline in the number of airborne missions. There have only been four flights to medical events in Frisco since January, but an average of only 27 missions a month for the region.

Chief Piland is confident that even without CareFlite, Frisco is safe, and has options with other helicopter ambulance providers.

CareFlite is looking to relocate its landing pad near Sherman.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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