Aero Med ‘voluntarily ground’ after ‘administrative error’

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Spectrum Health has decided to ground their Aero Med helicopter service due to “a potential administrative error”.

On Friday night, Kent County rescue crews responded to a crash on 13 Mile Road. Rescue crews requested Aero Med transported some victims in the crash.

However, a dispatch supervisor told 24 Hour News 8 Aero Med told them they were not available and did not give a reason why.

On Saturday afternoon, emergency responders at a Mecosta Township crash called for assistance from Aero Med…only to be told that Aero Med wouldn’t come. Air Care,out of Kalamazoo, would send a chopper, but that helicopter was unable to fly due to the weather.

24 Hour News 8 spoke over the phone to Elizabeth Cory, a public affairs officer with the FAA Saturday night. She said that “we are looking into the issue.” When pressed what exactly the issue was, she said she couldn’t say. 24 Hour News 8 then asked Cory why she couldn’t say what the issue is; she replied “this is still an open matter…this is something that nothing’s been resolved yet.” She did say that the FAA did not ground Aeromed.

She suggested that 24 Hour News 8 speak to Aero Med directly. 24 Hour News 8 asked Cory if she could specify if it was a personnel or equipment issue, she declined to answer the question.

When 24 Hour News 8 contacted Aero Med, a representative there deferred all questions to Spectrum Health, which sent the following statement.: “Aero Med has decided to voluntarily ground its helicopter service after learning from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of a potential administrative error. Patient safety is the priority for Spectrum Health and we want to ensure all documentation is satisfactory to the FAA. Aero Med expects the issue to be resolved early next week. In the meantime, emergency transport services will continue with ground transportation and partnerships with other flight services.”

Spectrum Health officials did not specify what the possible administrative error was, and have not replied to phone calls and e-mails requesting further information.

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