New base to strengthen air medical services in underserved Olympic Peninsula
Aurora, Ore., February 20, 2019— Life Flight Network, the largest not-for-profit air medical transport
service in the United States, is opening a new base at the William R. Fairchild International Airport in
Port Angeles, Washington. The base will be operational beginning March 29, 2019. Life Flight Network’s
highly trained flight crew at the Port Angeles base will provide ICU level care to communities in Clallam,
Jefferson and Island counties and will be capable of responding to calls for transport from anywhere in
Western Washington and Southeast Alaska.
“Life Flight Network has served Washington communities for 41 years and we are excited to expand our
presence and reach in the state, while also increasing our capacity to provide air medical transport
service to Southeast Alaska,” said Michael Griffiths, CEO of Life Flight Network. “It is our privilege to
serve the region alongside hospitals and emergency response agencies.”
The addition of a base in Port Angeles will enhance essential emergency medical services in Washington
State by providing emergency medical air transport to the Olympic Peninsula, Whidbey Island and
surrounding communities where patients previously had to wait for aircraft to come from the east side
of Puget Sound or south from Bremerton. A large portion of the Olympic Peninsula was previously one
of few areas in the state unreachable by air ambulance within a 30-minute response time.
“As a designated level III trauma center with frequent need for medical air transports, OMC and nearby
communities would benefit by having advanced medical flight capabilities located at William Fairchild
International Airport. Time to transfer can be critical for our trauma, cardiac, and stroke patients,” says
Dr. Scott Kennedy, Chief Medical Officer at Olympic Medical Center.
“The new base is an asset to the region and will help improve response times and patient outcomes for
residents of the area,” said Port Angeles Fire Chief Ken Dubuc. “The presence of an air medical operation
in our community will strengthen emergency response capabilities.”
Each Life Flight Network helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft is equipped with the medical equipment
necessary to act as a mobile intensive care unit, with the ability to perform a multitude of highly skilled
medical functions during transport, including video laryngoscopes, ICU level ventilators, and blood
products for emergency transfusions.
Life Flight Network will station an Agusta-Westland AW109 helicopter at its Port Angeles base. The
AW109 is an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capable aircraft, allowing safe operation in a range of weather
conditions. The AW109 is one of the fastest light helicopters available and can cruise at 172 miles per
hour. For example, the AW109 can make the trip from Port Angeles to Seattle in 27 minutes.
Life Fight Network will also station a Pilatus PC-12 fixed-wing aircraft in Port Angeles. The PC-12 is very
versatile, and capable of operating from short runways to large international airports. The PC-12 cruises
at 310 miles per hour and has a range of over 1,800 miles. The PC-12 based in Port Angeles will allow
Life Flight Network to serve a greater geographic area, including southeast Alaska. It can make the trip
from Port Angeles to Seattle in 25 minutes.
Life Flight Network is a nationally recognized air ambulance service and membership program with more
than 550 employees. Life Flight Network serves the western United States, including Alaska, from bases
throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. Each base contributes more than $1 million
annually to the local economy by creating approximately 15 to 20 new jobs. The Port Angeles aircraft
will be staffed 24/7 with an ICU level nurse, experienced paramedic, and a highly skilled pilot. In addition
to the medical staff based in Port Angeles, Life Flight Network employs a full time dedicated medical
director and associate medical directors to oversee the high level of quality medical care provided across
its service region.
Life Flight Network offers memberships for a $65 annual fee. Members incur no out-of-pocket expense if
flown for medically necessary emergent conditions by Life Flight Network or one of its reciprocal
partners. To request more information about the membership program, or if organizations would like an
in-person presentation, 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 operates under its own FAA Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate. Boise-based fixed-wing services are provided by Jackson Jet Center, Inc. For more information about Life Flight Network or to become a member, visit www.lifeflight.org.