Maui Mayor releases funds for Air Ambulance

September 1, 2010, 4:47 PM HST · Updated September 1, 4:47 PM
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Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares today, announced the release of $672,215 to fund the State’s Emergency Aeromedical Helicopter Services.  The service will help to augment other existing emergency medical services within the county

The State service is jointly funded by the County of Maui and the State Department of Health to dispatch helicopter air ambulances transporting trauma victims from the scene of the trauma to a hospital, and also between hospitals. The State
currently provides 50 percent of the cost of the service.

“As we examined our budget restraints earlier this year I had hoped that the State Department of Health and Maui Memorial Medical Center could pay for this important service, which is under their jurisdiction,” said Tavares. “Since the State and
hospital are not able to financially support the entire cost, I’m pleased that together with the Council, we have found a way to help pay for such a vital service for the islands of Maui County,” said Tavares.

During the budget deliberations in April, Tavares proposed that the air ambulance be funded in part by utilizing unanticipated
real property tax revenues. The final budget ordinance reflects funding of $672,215 from the County’s general fund for the air ambulance.

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Maui County’s air ambulance is capable of responding to any island in Maui County and is the only air ambulance in the state to serve multiple islands. Over the past three years, a total of 70 flights have been taken between Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Oahu.

All flights are conducted under extensive protocols based on national aeromedical, triage and transport guidelines established by the Association of Air Medical Services, the American College of Surgeons and the National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians.  To effectuate the protocols, a Memorandum of Understanding has been executed between the State Department of Health, and the County departments of Transportation, Police, Fire and Public Safety and Parks and Recreation.

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