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Life Flight Network will base a 24/7 medical helicopter in Astoria beginning May 15, 2015

February 11, 2015 – Aurora, Oregon… Life Flight Network (LFN), the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, announced it will be opening a base in Astoria, Oregon. The base will begin 24/7 operations May 15, 2015. The LFN base in Astoria will significantly improve access to air medical resources along the Oregon and Washington Coast.

Columbia Memorial Hospital, Providence Seaside Hospital, Ocean Beach Hospital, and Willapa Harbor Hospital will directly benefit from having an emergency medical helicopter just moments away. Other surrounding communities, such as Tillamook, Rockaway, Manzanita, Cannon Beach, and Seaside in Oregon as well as Long Beach and Raymond in Washington will also benefit from having this new air medical resource available.

Erik Thorsen, Chief Executive Officer for Columbia Memorial Hospital says, “Life Flight and Columbia Memorial Hospital have a long history of working together to serve the needs of our local communities.” He adds, “We are excited to see this important enhancement in our collaboration with Life Flight. Access to a local helicopter will dramatically shorten a patient's transfer time if they need a higher level of care. This will greatly improve the care available to our local communities. We look forward to continuing our long-term relationship with Life Flight.”

“Providence Seaside Hospital depends on Life Flight services for our patients suffering from cardiac events and other life-threatening trauma,” says Bonnie Thompson, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive for Providence Seaside Hospital. She adds, “Having a Life Flight base here on the North Coast will be a tremendous help whenever we need to transport a patient immediately.”

Linda Kaino, Chief Nursing Officer for Ocean Beach Hospital said, “Ocean Beach Hospital is very excited to have Life Flight based on the coast. This will mean our critical patients can be transferred to a higher level of care, faster.”

“A Life Flight Network helicopter in Clatsop County will improve patient outcomes and ultimately save lives,” states Jacob Dalstra, Regional Director for LFN. He adds, “We have served the area for nearly four decades from the Portland-Vancouver Metro area. We are excited to have a more local presence.” The helicopter stationed in Astoria will be a twin-engine Agusta 109. The instrument rated helicopter can make the trip from the coast to Portland in about 25 minutes.

For a nominal fee, LFN offers membership options. Members incur no out-of-pocket expense if flown for medically necessary emergent conditions. Membership also helps support operations in locations where there is a need for air medical transportation, such as Clatsop and Pacific counties. To request more information about the membership program, or if organizations would like an in-person presentation, please contact the LFN membership office at 800-982-9299.