San Juan Island EMS has partnered with Island Air to provide Island Air Ambulance since 2007. In these past three years, Island Air Ambulance has become a FAA and State of Washington verified air medical service capable of transporting advanced life support patients to the mainland.
Beginning in 2011, there will no longer be any out of pocket costs to the residents of the San Juan County Hospital District for air medical transport when transported aboard Island Air Ambulance’s fixed wing aircraft. The patient’s available insurance will continue to be billed. “With increased staffing and new technologies, we are able to conduct more of our own air medical flights for non-critical patients to mainland hospitals,” said Chief Jim Cole. “We wanted to remove the worrisome cost of air medial transport for our residents.”
“We are pleased to be able to offer this cost saving service to our community in these rough economic times,” stated J. Michael Edwards, MD, Hospital District Commissioner. “The EMS has created a robust service that is self-sustaining and a great benefit to our District’s residents.” The patient’s physician and the paramedic at the scene will continue to work with the patient to determine the most appropriate route of transport for their condition and destination.
EMS recommends that residents continue to purchase the $79/year Airlift AirCare Membership, as the majority of patients will continue to be transport from the island aboard Airlift helicopters, which are not covered under this new Island Air Ambulance initiative. More information about Airlift’s program can be found at www.airliftnw.org.
San Juan Island EMS is the tax supported, county EMS agency serving the residents and visitors of San Juan Island, the Town of Friday Harbor, Brown Island, Stuart Island, Johns Island, Speiden Island, Pearl Island and Henry Island in San Juan County, Washington. Further information about San Juan island EMS is available online at www.sanjuanems.org.