RICHMOND — After more than four years of operating from the Richmond Municipal Airport, IU Health LifeLine will move to New Castle next year.
LifeLine Director Cory Hall told the Pal Item he met with local officials Thursday afternoon to confirm the switch.
"The reception and the community here is, frankly, unlike none other that we've experienced," he said. "(Thursday) honestly was a very hard day for me because I feel as though I'm talking to friends and letting them know we are going to make some changes."
The move likely won't be made until sometime in the spring. Just as when LifeLine first set up shop in Richmond, work needs to be done at the New Castle airport before it will be ready to house the medical helicopter and its crew.
"We have a lot of work left to do. It includes a lot of construction, and so we're certainly not in a rush in any way, shape or form," Hall said.
The decision to move was made after looking at data analytics and deciding where LifeLine would be best positioned to help the most Indiana residents, according to Hall.
"We're committed to serving the entire state, and certainly our base in Richmond today is the tip of the spear in serving eastern Indiana," he said. "If we move to (the New Castle) location, we believe that we can serve more Hoosiers, but really very important to us, we can also continue to be a partner to Wayne County as a whole.
"When you look at this move and really what does this mean to Wayne County, if you look at the difference in how long it will take to get to you, it's five to six minutes, and there are areas of Wayne County we're actually closer to from the New Castle airport than we are from the Richmond airport."