State of Arizona Office of the Auditor General



Department of Public Safety Aviation Section (June 2000, Report No. 00-7) 


Although DPSA was the State’s sole provider of air ambulance services in 1972, today there are numerous private providers that offer similar or more enhanced services than DPSA. As such, the report recommends that DPSA serve as a backup air ambulance provider to the private sector, providing services only if the private sector is unavailable or unable to provide timely service. Further, by providing backup services only, DPSA can provide more search-and-rescue and law enforcement services to other agencies, such as fire departments and county sheriff offices.

In addition, the report addresses the need for DPSA to replace its existing helicopter fleet with newer, more powerful aircraft in order to perform some missions adequately. Although DPSA has recently purchased two newer helicopters, it still has three helicopters that are more than ten years old and will need to be replaced over the next few years. Lastly, the report discusses the need for DPSA to charge sufficient rates to cover the cost of providing air transport services to other governmental entities. Charging adequate rates would increase DPSA’s reimbursements by over $70,000 per year.

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