Life Flight Network, a not-for-profit air medical transport service in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West, announced today they will open a new helicopter base in Sandpoint, Idaho on March 1, 2012. â€œOur decision to proceed follows substantial area research and dialogue with a number of community leaders and healthcare professionals to confirm there was an air medical transport need we could meet,â€ states Michael Griffiths, CEO of Life Flight Network.
The company plans to assign 14 or 15 employees to the Sandpoint base, including Flight Nurses, Flight Paramedics, Pilots and Mechanics. The payroll for these highly-skilled personnel, expected to exceed $1 million per year, will provide a positive economic benefit for the community. These crew members and the rotor-wing aircraft assigned to the base will be at the ready to handle air medical transport on a 24 hour/7 days per week basis.
Life Flight Network provides air and ground critical care transportation for seriously ill or injured patients from the scene of an accident or from one hospital to another. The benefit of having a helicopter base in Sandpoint is supported by comments from leading area healthcare professionals such as Steve Groom, who states, â€œAs the CEO of the largest EMS agency serving Pend Oreille County in eastern Washington, I am pleased Life Flight Network is willing to work with our countyâ€™s EMS system. We serve a large rural area and having additional air resources nearby will greatly aid our ability to meet our responsibilities for the residents of the county.â€ Sharon Bistodeau, Manager – Department of Nursing at Bonner General Hospital, adds a similar point of view, â€œIt is going to be really good to have this additional resource for the people of Northern Idaho.â€
Life Flight Network strategically positions bases throughout the Northwest and Intermountain West to provide maximum coverage to the communities it serves. Life Flight Networkâ€™s helicopters can typically fly 300 nautical miles before refueling. This means the Sandpoint base will be able to serve residents in north & north-central Idaho, northeast & north-central Washington, and northwest Montana. In addition, the companyâ€™s Lewiston base is fully prepared to provide fixed-wing service and back-up rotor-wing support as situations warrant.
Life Flight Network has provided air medical service for more than 33 years and has the largest membership base of any air medical service in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. Membership covers air transport when a patient is emergently transported in the companyâ€™s aircraft. In addition, Life Flight Networkâ€™s memberships are honored by most regional air transport reciprocal partners, including Northwest MedStar.
Life Flight Network is owned by a consortium of four of the nationâ€™s most prestigious health systems. These owners and board members include Legacy Health System, Providence Health System-Oregon, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University. The depth of experience and support provided by the owners helps to ensure the company remains at the leading edge of healthcare evolution and progress.
Life Flight Network offers the largest emergency air medical service in Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Prior to opening the Sandpoint base, the company operates bases in Boise, Pocatello, Mountain Home, and Lewiston, Idaho; Ontario, Aurora, Hillsboro, La Grande and Eugene, Oregon; and Longview and Dallesport, Washington. Life Flight Network currently has a combined fleet of 11 medical helicopters, five fixedâ€wing aircraft and four ground ambulances.
About Life Flight Network:
Life Flight Network, a not-for-profit air medical service, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). Life Flight Network has administrative offices in Aurora, Oregon and is owned by a consortium of Legacy Health System, Providence Health System-Oregon, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University. Rotor-wing services are provided by Air Methods Corporation. Fixed-wing services are provided by Aero Air, LLC, AvCenter, and Conyan Aviation. For more information about Life Flight Network visit www.lifeflight.org.
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