Historical photo from the '70s. Blue and white helicopter with retro-looking Life Flight logo flying above Mt. St. Helens

Saving Lives Since 1978

With over four decades of experience, Life Flight Network has been the nation’s leading air medical transport provider. We have established bases throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West, offering ICU-level care and support to hospitals, emergency responders, police, EMS, and fire departments. With an unwavering commitment to patient care, Life Flight Network continues to set the standard for air medical transportation.

A historical photo from the '70s shows a man piloting a helicopter to a landing zone. Emanuel Hospital can be see out of the cockpit window, over his right shoulder. he appears to be turning at a steep angle.
A historical photo from the '70s shows a woman with a medical case running from a just-landed helicopter


The Beginning: Emanuel Life Flight

Beginning in 1978 as Emanuel Life Flight, Emanuel Hospital (now Legacy Emanuel Medical Center) owned and operated the program. Emanuel Life Flight was one of the first hospital-based air ambulances on the West Coast and only the fourth in the nation. Transporting 121 patients in its first year, a French-made Alouette-3 helicopter was the program’s inaugural aircraft. 

Circa late '70s historical photo of classic Emanuel Life Flight helicopter landing at Emanuel hospital



Merger and a New Name

In 1993, Emanuel Life Flight merged with Aircare, a Providence Health System flight program; our name was changed to reflect this milestone, and Emanuel Life Flight became Life Flight Network. This merger and name change came in concert with the decision of the three largest healthcare providers in the Portland metropolitan area to jointly participate in the ownership and overall operation of Life Flight Network; the day-to-day operation of Life Flight Network remained under the auspices of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.Providence, OHSU and Legacy Health logos



CAMTS Accreditation

Life Flight Network achieves accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).

CAMTS accreditation logo



A New Entity

October 1, 2007, Life Flight Network was separated from the hospital structure and began operations under its own steam.

In 2006, the consortium made a strategic decision to transfer the organization from the governance of the hospital structure and separate it into its own entity. The consortium recognized Life Flight Network would need the strength of its own organizational structure if it was going to survive in the rapidly growing and increasingly competitive air medical industry.

Historical Life Flight Logo. A fixed-wing plane and helicopter fly over a simplified blue mountain. Red serif letters spell out "Life Flight" below, with a smaller "NETWORK" underneath.



AAMS Program of the Year Award

Life Flight Network received the AAMS Program of the Year Award, becoming the first West Coast flight program to receive the honor.



Saint Alphonsus Joins Consortium

In September of 2009, Boise-based Saint Alphonsus Life Flight made a strategic decision to join Life Flight Network. Both Life Flight Network and Saint Alphonsus Life Flight realized long-term survivability would depend on the ability to collaborate with other like-minded organizations. Founded in 1986, Saint Alphonsus Life Flight’s reputation in Idaho and eastern Oregon was unparalleled.

Saint Alphonsus Health System logo

Foundation Established

The Life Flight Network Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, is established.


New FAA Accreditation

Life Flight Network becomes an FAA Part 135 air carrier.



First in World to Achieve Dual Accreditation

Life Flight Network achieves dual accreditation of the International Standard for Business Aviation Operations (IS-BAO) and Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) Accreditation of Program Safety, becoming the first HAA operator in the world to achieve this dual standard.


Northwest MedStar Joins Life Flight Network

Northwest MedStar becomes part of Life Flight Network, adding six base locations to the Life Flight Network footprint: Brewster, WA.Moses Lake, WA.Richland, WA.Pullman, WA.Spokane, WA., and Missoula, MT., The merger also added neonatal transport capabilities. Northwest MedStar was formed in 1994 when Sacred Heart’s Heartflight and Deaconess’ Lifebird air transport programs merged. Similar to how Northwest MedStar was formed, its integration into Life Flight Network provided a framework to pull best practices from both well-established and respected organizations to better serve our communities and more efficiently respond to people in need of lifesaving critical care transportation. 


AAMS Program of the Year

Life Flight Network is awarded the prestigious AAMS Program of the Year for the second time. 

AAMS Program of the Year 2021



AAMS Neonatal/Pediatric Award of Excellence

AAMS bestows Life Flight Network with the Neonatal and Pediatric Transport Award of Excellence.



Today, Life Flight Network is a nationally recognized air medical transport service covering a large part of the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West, all while never losing sight of its core mission: saving lives with industry-leading care and transport.

A consortium of Oregon Health & Science University, Legacy Health, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, and Providence Health & Services own Life Flight Network. The combined strength of these world-class health institutions ensures the program’s quality remains as safe and strong today as when we started in 1978.


EMS and Hospital Personnel:
For immediate emergency dispatch, call us 24/7. We’re standing by.

(800) 232-0911

When You Need Us.
Life Flight Network