Air medical base in McAllen closes

The Air Evac Lifeteam in McAllen is ceasing its operations effective immediately, according to a Thursday morning news release.

The air ambulance base has operated from McAllen Medical Center since its October 2011 opening, according to the release, which went on to state that employees have been offered the opportunity to work at other bases.

“We’ve attempted to garner support from numerous hospitals and agencies to share in the subsidy, but were unable to obtain that support,” Seth Myers, president of Air Evac Lifeteam, said in the release.

The hospital provided a subsidy “when no one else in the area would,” Myers further stated.

“We simply cannot continue operations without a subsidy, due to poor reimbursement,” he added. “In addition, the McAllen base has seen increased competition in its home county — Hidalgo County.

“The EMS service added two airplanes over the past year and will soon add a helicopter program. Another organization is also promoting a fixed-wing aircraft in the area. These services have also spent a great deal of time seeking subsidies from area hospitals.”

Myers also praised the team’s service to local residents of the surrounding community.

“They have done a wonderful job serving McAllen and area residents for more than seven years from the campus of McAllen Regional Medical Center,” Myers stated.

Members of the AirMedCare Network who live in Brooks, Kenedy, Nueces, Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr or Willacy counties may receive a prorated refund for their membership; they’re encouraged to call (800) 793-0010.