Life Flight Network, the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, announced it is opening a new helicopter base in Newport, OR, to be operational on or about June 1st. The highly trained medical crew will provide ICU level care to Lincoln, Lane, Tillamook, Polk, and Benton counties, and will be capable of responding anywhere in Western Oregon.
Life Flight Network, an Oregon-based company, has served the area for nearly four decades from several locations. The addition of a helicopter in Newport will further enhance service to the coastal communities. The helicopter to be stationed in Newport will be an Airbus H135, a twin-engine instrument rated aircraft. The H135 can make the trip from Newport to Corvallis in 12 minutes or from Lincoln City to Portland in 39 minutes. Life Fight Network announced it may also base a Pilatus PC-12 fixed-wing aircraft in Newport.
Each Life Flight Network base contributes more than $1,000,000 annually to the local economy by creating approximately 15 new jobs. The base will be staffed 24/7 with an ICU nurse, experienced paramedic, and highly skilled pilot. The base will also employ two mechanics.
Coastal hospitals will directly benefit from having an emergency medical helicopter just moments away. Surrounding communities, such as Yachats, Waldport, Tidewater, Alsea, Toledo, Siletz, and Eddyville will also benefit from a closer air medical resource. Several local emergency responders provided immediate feedback regarding the news:
RC Mock, Fire Chief for Siletz Valley Fire District states: “I am very excited and grateful that our communities will have better access to advanced care and more resources available, which will increase our overall healthcare system. This will be advantageous for our county, and I personally think it has been a missing piece to our local system for some time.”
Rob Murphy, Fire Chief for Newport Fire Department states: “I am excited we are getting an air medical helicopter in the community. This will help us to service our critical and time sensitive patients’ needs. This is an asset that has been needed for some time in this area. We look forward to working with Life Flight Network.”
William Ewing, Fire Chief for the City of Toledo Fire & Rescue Department states: “…Life Flight is a resource of long duration in Oregon, and its viability in the state is not in question. They are a professional group that provides a high caliber service! I would love to see them in Lincoln County…”
Jim Oeder, Deputy Fire Chief of Nestucca Rural Fire Protection District states: “We are always looking for the fastest response from a helicopter and will use a Life Flight Network helicopter out of Newport to accomplish this objective. I have personal experience and enjoy working with the Life Flight Network helicopter crews.”
Justin Dillingham, Chief Customer Officer for Life Flight Network, states: “The addition of a Life Flight Network helicopter in Newport will save lives. Critically ill and injured patients on the central Oregon Coast will no longer have to wait for a helicopter to respond from the valley.” He adds, “Whether suffering a heart attack, stroke, or serious traumatic injury, we know every minute counts. Patients can be flown to higher levels of care in significantly less time when we are based nearby.”
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 or one of our reciprocal partners. 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.