ShandsCair 2 - Ocala, Florida

In continuing with the Marion County Board of Commissioners’ effort to provide citizens with outstanding health services, Marion County Fire Rescue, Shands at the University of Florida (a premier Level 1 Trauma Center headed by Frederick Moore, M.D., one of the most recognized national figures in trauma and surgical care) and Med-Trans Corp. have created an air medical partnership at minimal cost to taxpayers.


Over the past several years MCFR has seen a drastic increase in the number of trauma patients flown out of the county. After several studies it was determined that an air medical program would greatly benefit Marion County citizens.


Shands at the University of Florida’s flight program, ShandsCair, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Per the new partnership ShandsCair will staff a flight nurse/paramedic and a paramedic around the clock at MCFR Spruce Creek Station 30. Air medical transport provider Med-Trans is providing a second helicopter, an EC-135. The program launched on Feb. 15 with a temporary helicopter while the permanent aircraft is being completed. The permanent aircraft, ShandsCair 2 will fly with an orange and blue exterior that will also feature the MCFR logo and the ShandsCair “Chopper-Doc” graphic. ShandsCair 2 will be operational 24/7 with pilots staffed by Med-Trans at MCFR’s Spruce Creek Station 30. A public open house showcasing the program and the permanent helicopter will be held in April.      


Under the terms of lease and collaboration agreements, ShandsCair will utilize space at MCFR Spruce Creek Station 30 and is constructing a helipad at their expense.  The only cost to local taxpayers will be a slight incremental utility cost since the crew will share space at Station 30 with the existing fire rescue crews.  The station is designed to accommodate at least ten crewmembers per shift and currently houses six dual-certified MCFR firefighters per 24-hour shift.


MCFR and ShandsCair agree that the addition of a helicopter permanently based in South Marion County will significantly improve air medical transport coverage throughout Central Florida, as well as provide MCFR with the ability to deliver trauma patients to the appropriate facility with greater expediency.


This partnership was solidified on Jan. 10 when the Marion County Board of Commissioners granted ShandsCair/Med-Trans a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) allowing it to operate from a Marion County base.


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This program's name is a "DBA" for Med-Trans Corporation (Med-Trans), an FAA Part 135 certificate holder and operator. Accordingly, all transportation by air that is done by this program is, in fact, done by Med-Trans. All aircraft and flights are under the operational control of Med-Trans, and all operations by this program are conducted under Med-Trans' operations specifications (OpSpecs). Med-Trans has the responsibility for ensuring this program's aircraft(s) are airworthy and are in compliance with its FAA-approved inspection/maintenance program. Med-Trans has specified the conditions under which flight may be operated. All flight crewmembers at this program that are assigned to a flight by Med-Trans are qualified, and have been trained under Med-Trans' approved training program.

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