TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — An Alabama city’s only air medical transport service will end operations as the helicopter’s provider opted not to renew the contract.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the Tuscaloosa-based NorthFlight will cease operating Monday, after more than four years of transporting roughly 1,000 critically injured patients by helicopter. The service was a partnership between NorthStar EMS, which provided the equipment and staff, and Air Methods, which provided the aircraft and pilots.

NorthStar operations director Edgar Calloway says Air Methods notified them three months ago that they would not renew its contract. Calloway said the service was “very expensive to operate,” but further details have not been reported.

NorthFlight operated within a 100-mile (161-kilometer) radius of Tuscaloosa. The closest medical helicopters will now be stationed 40 to 60 miles (60 to 100 kilometers) away.

Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, http://www.tuscaloosanews.com

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