Life Flight Network to Open New Air Medical Base in Pendleton, Oregon on June 1, 2012

The new Pendleton helicopter base is perfectly positioned to enhance critical air medical support for residents of southern Washington and northern Oregon.

Life Flight Network (LFN), a not-for-profit air medical transport service in the Northwest and Intermountain West, announced today they will open a new helicopter base in Pendleton, Oregon on June 1, 2012. “Our decision to open a base in Pendleton follows dialogue with area healthcare professionals to confirm introducing our air medical capabilities into the area will help elevate the overall quality of patient care,” states Michael Griffiths, CEO of LFN. He continues, “LFN is dedicated to establishing bases closer to areas where air medical services are most needed to provide local EMS agencies and area residents with the highest standard of clinical excellence and faster air transport times.”

LFN 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. Comments from area emergency medical service professionals supporting the LFN base in Pendleton mirror those made by Gary A. Woodson, Fire Chief and Paramedic at the City of Pendleton Fire & Ambulance Department, “Every second counts when a critically ill or injured patient needs specialized medical attention and having a Life Flight Network base in Pendleton will greatly help my department provide timely critical care for residents and visitors in our service area.”

Given the growing need for safe and timely transport, LFN strategically positions bases throughout the Northwest and Intermountain West to provide maximum coverage to the communities it serves. Holly Love, Director of Customer Service, clarifies, “When you factor in supporting coverage provided by LFN’s helicopter bases in Longview, Eugene, Aurora, Redmond, Dallesport, Ontario, La Grande and Lewiston, and our fixed-wing capabilities out of Dallesport, Hillsboro and Boise, it becomes clear how our base inPendleton is poised to be a central element in an effective air medical safety net for residents and visitors in southern Washington and most areas of Oregon.”

LFN has provided air medical service for more than 34 years and is a recent recipient of the prestigious Air Medical Transport Program of the Year award. LFN has one of the largest membership programs of any air medical service covering residents in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. Membership covers air transport when a patient is emergently transported in the company’s aircraft. In addition, LFN’s memberships are honored through reciprocal agreements by most air transport services in the region.

LFN clinical standards are among the highest in the country and the program operates with a flight nurse/flight paramedic team system utilized by more than 80% of the industry. While some programs hire clinical staff with just three years of experience, LFN requires a minimum of five years to help ensure the highest levels of medical excellence and safety. The company plans to assign 14 personnel to the Pendleton base, including flight nurses, flight paramedics, pilots and mechanics. 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 day per week basis.

LFN is owned by a consortium of four of the nation’s most prestigious health systems. These owners include Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Providence Health System-Oregon, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Oregon Health & 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. In addition to the new base in Pendleton, the company operates bases in Boise, Pocatello, Mountain Home, Sandpoint, and Lewiston, Idaho; Ontario, Aurora, Hillsboro, La Grande, Redmond, and Eugene, Oregon; and Longview and Dallesport, Washington. Life Flight Network currently has a combined fleet of 14 medical helicopters, five fixed-wing aircraft and four ground ambulances.

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