AirMed needs a home |

AirMed needs a home

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

AirMed, an emergency medical helicopter based at Burns Fire Station, may leave Summit County if the air ambulance cannot find a new home.

"AirMed needs to leave the Burns Fire Station and Sept. 15 they’ve got to find a spot to already be in place," interim Summit County Manager Brian Bellamy said.

A chopper crew has covered Summit County and eastern Utah since the 1980s. But a new landing pad is needed for the University of Utah-based helicopter service as the fire station on Bitner Road expands.

"We’re working to put in a training facility," Assistant Park City Fire Chief Bob Zanetti said. "We are happy that they’re looking at another site within the county."

Pilots could serve the same area while staged at the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at 6300 N. Silver Creek Drive, he explained.

"They’re a really important resource to have, AirMed here in our county, and I know they want to stay up here," Zanetti said.

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AirMed has partnered with the Fire District to serve Summit County, he said.

"Hopefully, they can work this deal out with the Sheriff’s Office," Zanetti said. "With the ski areas and the other emergency operations, it’s nice to have them."

Another site was considered for a helicopter pad near the Jordanelle reservoir in Wasatch County.

"AirMed has got to stay in the county," Summit County Councilwoman Sally Elliott said. "It’s a big, big benefit."

AirMed hopes to find another station in the Park City area, AirMed Program Manager Brian Simpson said.

"We’re showing probably a mission every two days out of that base at least," Simpson said. "AirMed has had a presence in Summit County since the mid-’80s and we do want to continue that relationship."

He said AirMed is working with the Summit County Council, Snyderville Basin Planning Commission and Sheriff Dave Edmunds to find a new location. Throughout the Intermountain West AirMed has six bases, Simpson said.

About two years ago, AirMed began manning 24-hour shifts in Summit County.

"We definitely want to keep our working relationship with them," Zanetti said.