Life Flight Network, November 22, 2016 - AURORA, Ore. - Life Flight Network, the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, announced it is moving its helicopter stationed at PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview, Washington, to the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso, Washington, effective Nov. 23.
The move has been under consideration for several years, as Life Flight Network evaluated opportunities for improving the services offered in Cowlitz County.
“The upcoming relocation to Kelso is just a short move from where we are currently located, yet it will improve our overall response time throughout the region,” said Jodi Franzman, customer service manager. “Currently, the crew must walk approximately five minutes to get to the helicopter. In the new location, it will be right outside our back door.
“Life Flight Network frequently transports patients who are experiencing time sensitive emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes or traumatic injuries. In these situations every minute matters.”
“Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue feels that Life Flight Network relocating to the airport will be a positive move,” said Becky Ribelin, emergency medical services (EMS) administrator and deputy chief for Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue. “It will decrease the time for Life Flight Network crew members to access their helicopter to fly to a scene…. This enables the team to get to the patient faster and therefore to definitive care faster.
“Life Flight Network being at the airport also means that EMS can rendezvous with them there instead of navigating through the City of Longview before taking the patient through the hospital. Both of these issues have increased the time it takes the patient to get to where they need to be the quickest.”
Life Flight Network has served the area for nearly four decades from several locations. The Longview base was established in 2008. The partnership and collaboration with Longview PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center will continue despite the helicopter being stationed two miles away.
The Leonardo AW119Kx helicopter can make the trip to hospitals in the Portland-Vancouver area in less than 17 minutes.
For a nominal annual fee, Life Flight Network offers membership options. Members incur no out-of-pocket expense if flown for medically necessary emergent conditions by Life Flight Network.
About Life Flight Network: Life Flight Network, a nonprofit air medical service, has 22 helicopters bases, six fixed-wing bases, and several ground ambulances throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Life Flight Network has administrative offices in Aurora, Oregon and employs approximately 600 people. The organization is owned by a consortium of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, and Providence Health & Services.
Aviation services are provided by Life Flight Network, Metro Aviation, and Jackson Jet Center.