University of Iowa hospitals will turn over some of the traffic control of its Medical Helicopters to an Omaha firm. Jeff Gauthier says it’ll be a long-distance arrangement.Radio and phone orders and flight support for pilots will come through a radio system based in Marshalltown. Gauthier says the University will save money using the Life-Com dispatching service. He says staff will be moved to others areas of the hospital so nobody will be laid off. Gauthier says having dispatchers in Omaha, on the far end of the state, won’t change much because the helicopter medical service already covers a wide geographical area. The scope of the medical operation is transporting 900 patients a year on a trip that averages 100 miles away from Iowa City and Waterloo, the two places where the copters are based. The University already contracts with LifeCom’s central headquarters in Denver for pilots and maintenance services.
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