Health Care

EagleMed to operate fixed-wing base out of Liberal

EagleMed is opening a fixed-wing base in Liberal to provide emergency transport to southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma-Texas panhandle, the company said Tuesday.

EagleMed anticipates offering services from the Liberal base by the end of May, using a King Air B-200.

The company was founded in Wichita by Jim and Iva Ballard in 1977. They sold it to Air Medical Group Holdings last summer but agreed to stay with the company for two years.

EagleMed already has 15 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft providing emergency transport from 13 cities in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

In a statement, Jim Ballard said EagleMed was "very excited about working with Southwest Medical Center and Seward County EMS, as well as all of the other area hospitals, to assist as needed for medical transport of patients throughout the region."

Shelia Rupp, director of marketing for EagleMed, said health care providers in western Kansas and the panhandle had asked the company to consider filling the need for service. EagleMed also has bases in Garden City and Dodge City.

Rupp said the base in Liberal will be staffed by more than a dozen crew members, who already have been hired.

EagleMed said the King Air, which flies at speeds up to 325 mph, is being configured with the necessary medical equipment in preparation for the base's opening.