Deployment may hurt emergency services

Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008

FAIRBANKS - The Army's plans to deploy a Fort Wainwright air ambulance unit overseas in July has Fairbanks area emergency officials worried.

The deployment will end civilian air ambulance service by the 1st Battalion 52nd Aviation Regiment.

The unit provides Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic service, commonly known as MAST, throughout the Interior.

The MAST unit participates in dozens of emergency rescues every year and its absence would mean state officials will have to find another way to provide air rescues.

Interior emergency officials have sent letters to Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska's congressional delegation asking for assistance.

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