What is the cost of an air med rescue?

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Search and rescue crews say in a time of emergency they don’t question whether it’s worth sending a helicopter, they just do. But that flight costs someone.

Crews were called out to eight search and rescues in the canyons of Utah, many of which involved an air medical helicopter.

Patients are only billed for a flight if they are taken to the hospital. They are charged by the mile and for a lift fee. Other than that, insurance typically covers the rest, say officials from Intermountain Healthcare.

Cost for a flight in the Wasatch area can range from $5,000 to $8,000, said Life Flight nurse Judi Carpenter.

If patients are not taken in for treatment it’s free of charge and the hospital foots the bill.

“We take care of you no matter what,” said AirMed Flight Nurse Brian Simpson. “We take care of you to the best of our ability and let other people sort out the details.”