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The free ride is apparently over for emergency victims rescued by San Diego’s helicopter fleet. Earlier this month, the City posted a request for proposal for “a comprehensive air medical billing service for patients who are transported by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department helicopters.” According to the request, the department’s Air Operations Division operates “two medium-lift helicopters that are utilized both within the City and the County of San Diego in a multi-mission capacity. One of these missions is to support air medical transportation to local hospitals. The helicopters that are operated by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department are categorized as Advanced Life Support Rescue Aircraft. The helicopters are staffed by a minimum of one paramedic and one E.M.T. ” The unit responds to 80 to 100 “cost recoverable Advance Life Support rescue responses per year,” according to the document, which asks for bidders who can keep track of payments and chase down deadbeats.

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a2zresource Dec. 15, 2010 @ 9:54 a.m.

Like I needed another reason not to go to the ER for my next heart attack. I survived the one earlier this August on my personal stash of aspirin and nitrostat. What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger... and stranger.

Out of the hundred or so emergency air transports per year, how many were needed for self-inflicted stupidities where the alleged victims were at least partially liable for negligent behavior causing physical injury? Any freeway racers in the group? Anybody ghost-riding the whip and falling off the hood? How about skateboarders without helmets? Bare-knuckled street fighters? Johnny Knoxville impersonators with time on their hands? Motor vehicle operators with a death wish while near a lowered trolley crossing gate, something that seems to be a local coveted claim to fame here between Lemon Grove and Santee?

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Founder Dec. 15, 2010 @ 12:52 p.m.

Maybe soon we will get the City of San Diego to Outsource Both Leadership and Mayor roles, I'd vote for that!

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a2zresource Dec. 16, 2010 @ 4:50 a.m.

For the current strong mayor if the KESSLER lawsuit actually goes to trial: a little ditty from Patty Smyth and Scandal (such an appropriate band name for all of that)...


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monaghan Dec. 16, 2010 @ 2:51 p.m.

"Self-inflicted stupidities?" Maybe heart attacks come under that heading too, a2z. Soon we're all going to be paying a lot more for a lot of stuff that used to be free, but there's no need to be harsh about it.

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a2zresource Dec. 16, 2010 @ 3:49 p.m.

All of my heart attacks are self-inflicted. After all, those are my genes, and I clearly chose to accept them at birth.

Of course, for the popular benefit of all taxpayers, I no longer go to the ER for heart attacks as long as I have aspirin, warfarin, and nitrostat left in the medicine cabinet. Seriously. What right do I have to make all of you pay for my health care when I can't even afford health insurance myself?

If I sound harsh, then perhaps that's my pre-late 1960s education in personal responsibility, situational awareness, and proper prior planning to prevent poor performance? We were taught as children back then that playing jacks on the freeway was NOT a bright idea...

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TheGunny Dec. 17, 2010 @ 5:42 p.m.

It's good to see that reality has caught up with the ploiticians. This "free ride" is now over and those who require air ambulance services will foot the bill, not the taxpayer. This should have been paying for itself a long time ago, but as usual.....

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realnews Dec. 19, 2010 @ 7:39 a.m.

I noticed at the elementary school shooting one of the two little girls was "life-flighted." Why is anyone's guess since she only had an arm injury.

Who decides who goes by "Life-flight" and why isn't San Diego's asleep-at-the-switch media not checking this out?

Because as soon as the City began contracting the "life flights" dramatically increased.

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TheGunny Dec. 19, 2010 @ 11:59 a.m.

I think I can help you out on a few...

  1. When those two kids got shot, the Pediatric Trauma Center is located at Children's Hopsital. This being some distance from Carlsbad and with traffic on the SB I-5, this can increase the possibility of further damage over time. The MEDEVAC can cut that timeframe in 1/2. Additionally with a GSW to the arm, there might have been the possibility of a life threatening bleed that would be compounded by the extended transport to proper facility.

  2. The Paramedic on the ground makes the call on the mode and speed of transport in SD County. Usually MEDEVAC's are incidents with extended transport times (desert, East County and border region).

  3. The city has been conducting MEDEVACs when Mercy Air is not available. Mercy Air has a binding contract with San Diego County to provide MEDEVAC services to all jurisdictions. SDFD is used when there is a 20min or longer response time. This has been in place for years.

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