LeeFlight Celebrates 10 Years of Service


A decade of care for the people of Lee County deserves recognition 

Fort Myers, FL – Aug. 3, 2023 – A special celebration was held on Thursday, Aug. 3 to recognize the 10th anniversary of LeeFlight air medical service. Crew members, community leaders, and about 100 guests came together at the LeeFlight hangar in Fort Myers for the festivities. LeeFlight is a partnership between Lee County and Air Methods, the nation’s leading provider of air medical services, and is staffed by both Air Methods and Lee County EMS personnel. 

“LeeFlight has operated in partnership with Air Methods for the last 10 years, providing safe and fiscally responsible air medical transportation to the Southwest Florida community,” said Lee County Director of Public Safety Ben Abes, who kicked off the event. “The team provides around-the-clock critical care medicine to those who need medical treatment or immediate, life-saving transportation to specialty medical centers around the region. We’re proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this partnership and look forward to seeing the program grow with the community in the future.” 

Among the special guests in attendance were Lee Board of County Commissioners Chairman Brian Hamman, County Commissioners Cecil Pendergrass and Ray Sandelli, Lee County Port Authority Executive Director Ben Siegel, and Director of Page Field Scott Sheets. 

“On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, I want to say thank you and congratulations on 10 years of amazing service in Lee County,” said Hamman. “The service provided makes Lee County a much better place to live, and it’s great to live in a county where we have assets like this. I’d like to thank the LeeFlight team for their professionalism and service to our residents.” 

While Lee County has provided air medical services for approximately 50 years, they joined forces with Air Methods 10 years ago to form LeeFlight. This partnership has resulted in fast response times, reliable service, and clinical excellence. 

“Life is precious and many times the task of preserving that gift falls to our dedicated emergency personnel,” said Sandelli. “Time to respond and administer care is increasingly critical for the patient and their loved ones. The LeeFlight team is that combination of talent and resources that saves lives every day. We are forever thankful, and today’s event is an opportunity to celebrate them and their 10 years of service to our community.” 

Pendergrass added, “Since my tenure on the Lee Board of County Commissioners began in 2012, I have witnessed the success of our LeeFlight program in partnership with Air Methods. My prior career being in law enforcement for 25 years, I can honestly say that our first responders are some of the best men and women working out on the frontlines, dedicating their lives to public safety and to our community.”   

LeeFlight serves the people of Southwest Florida with highly trained trauma clinicians, pilots, and mechanics who have years of experience in the field and receive advanced, ongoing training. Every nurse and paramedic has access to Air Methods Ascend, an in-person and online training program that allows clinicians to perform at the top of their licensure. Air Methods Ascend is available to medical personnel across the county. 

“We are incredibly proud of the program we have built with Lee County,” said Matt Turner, vice president of customer experience with Air Methods. “We measure our success by the lives we touch and the trust we build in the community. In 10 years, we have made a tremendous difference for the people of Lee County. Our crew is the best in the industry and they are passionate about serving this community for years to come. We are thrilled to be able to share this success with everyone here today.” 

Air Methods believes everyone deserves access to lifesaving care without the need for memberships. They are in-network with most major insurance providers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Humana, United, and many other leading health insurance companies. All patients transported by LeeFlight have access to robust patient advocacy services to help ensure affordability, regardless of insurance status.