O’Fallon based Air Evac Lifeteam standing by to ferry flood victims to safety

O’FALLON, MO – Over a dozen helicopters are being deployed out of O’Fallon Missouri to help with Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts in Houston.

Air Evac Lifeteam is a medical transport company that is trying to help move patients out of Houston hospitals.

Air Evac Lifeteam has over one hundred helicopters across 15 states. Typically, they pick up patients from hospitals or the scene of an accident and transport them to wherever they need to go.

All of the communications and deployment of helicopters take place out of their office in O’Fallon.

Right now, the company has sent 14 helicopters with a nurses, paramedics and pilots to San Antonio where they are waiting to get to Houston to help move patients.

This is the largest response the company has ever sent to one area. For Hurricane Katrina, they sent 10 helicopters but the response for Harvey is creating different obstacles.

“Katrina came on did the devastating damage and moved out so we were able to respond right away,” said Senior Director of Base Operations Joe Grygiel.  “What we are looking at here with this event is you had hurricane Harvey come on and its just kind of spun and sat there and has been dumping rain. So, we are sitting in San Antonio we are ready to respond but we need that weather to clear out.”

Grygiel said they are hoping for the weather to clear in the next one to three days.