On Monday Heber Springs was announced as a 2020 Trendsetter City by the Arkansas Municipal League. The city was recognized for its innovative public private partnership with Survival Flight to both reimagine and improve public safety in the city.
“Before I became chief, people in Heber Springs were waiting up to 30 minutes for an ambulance if they had a medical emergency,” Heber Springs Fire Chief Jason Robitaille said. “With our partnership with Survival Flight, the city now has more firefighters, two newly staffed fire stations, and a sophisticated emergency dispatch operation that is top notch. All of these things have been accomplished while still saving the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Survival Flight, a helicopter ambulance company headquartered in Batesville, Arkansas started a ground ambulance program in Heber Springs in 2019.
“After Chief Robitaille took over at the fire department, we both came to realize that we could help each other get better,” Survival Flight CEO Chris Millard said. “By partnering with Heber Springs, we’ve been able to expand our ground ambulance base and vastly improve our services in the area. Our partnership just makes sense.”
The Trendsetter City program was created by the Arkansas Municipal League to recognize cities throughout the state of Arkansas that have gone above and beyond to improve the lifestyles, infrastructure, wellness and safety within their community. Heber Springs was honored for its incredible improvement to public safety in the city while simultaneously saving taxpayer money.