With the coronavirus continuing to affect citizens in Randolph County, Air EVAC, a division of Global Medical Response, is continuing to fly critically injured and ill patients from Tanner East Alabama in Wedowee, and if needed from other landing zones around the county. The helicopter ambulance service is used when a patient needs to be transferred to a larger hospital in a more timely manner than ground ambulance.

Shelley Schneider, public relations manager with Global Medical Response, the parent company of Air EVAC said, "Air EVAC Lifeteam is here to serve the residents of Randolph County. Whether it's COVID, a heart attack, a stroke or serious injury, this is what we do," she said.

"First and most importantly though, we would like to send a big thank-you to all the citizens that have heeded the shelter-in-place and stay-at-home efforts/orders. Utilization of 911 emergency medical services has temporarily declined by up to 20 percent in some areas. The proper use of 911 helps keep our crews safe, and we appreciate everyone doing their part to flatten the curve."

With the coronavirus being a threat to everyone, flight crews are taking more precautions at the local level. "Our crews wear full PPE on every flight," Schneider said. "We follow very careful decontamination policies to make sure the air ambulance, the patient cot and other equipment is safe and clean."

She went on to say, "One of the most important components of preventing infection and disease spread is through the use of full PPEs when caring for or transporting a patient suspected of having COVID-19. Proper, frequent handwashing is also important and something everyone can and should do to help prevent the spread of disease."

Air EVAC Lifeteam is part of the Global Medical Response (GMR) family of companies. GMR works around the clock to ensure our employees have the most updated information. They have a website dedicated to the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic. They also have a command staff that includes people in charge of equipment, logistics, planning, education and more. This group talks daily and the regional directors talk daily to go over challenges they face. "Communication is key, and GMR is doing an excellent job making sure our leaders and our employees have the information they need to be safe and successful," Schneider said.

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