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, WA, to the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso, WA, effective November 23rd. The move has been under consideration for several years as Life Flight Network evaluated opportunities for improving the services offered in Cowlitz County.
Jodi Franzman, Customer Service Manager, states about the move: “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.” She adds, “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.” She continues: “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,” says Becky Ribelin, EMS Administrator and Deputy Chief for Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue. She went on to add: “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 119Kx 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. To request more information about the membership program, or if organizations would like an in-person presentation, please contact the Life Flight Network membership office at (800) 982-9299.
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) and the National Accreditation Alliance of Medical Transport Applications (NAAMTA). Life Flight Network has administrative offices in Aurora, Oregon and is owned by a consortium of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, and Providence Health System. Aviation services provided by: Life Flight Network, Jackson Jet Center, Inc., and Metro Aviation. For more information about Life Flight Network or to become a member, visit www.lifeflight.org.