Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Beginning Feb. 1, Life Flight Network expanded its presence in Central Oregon and Washington by adding a medically configured fixed-wing aircraft (plane) to its Dallesport base.
In June of 2008, Life Flight Network expanded its 31-year presence in the Northwest by basing a helicopter at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport in Dallesport. The addition of a medically configured plane will greatly enhance the number of patients that can be helped.
"The addition of a fixed-wing aircraft to Dallesport will improve our ability to provide life saving care to the citizens of Central Oregon and Washington. There are a number of times when weather is not conducive to long distance helicopter flight; having a plane based in the Gorge will greatly enhance our ability to help those in need," says Michael Griffiths, executive director for Life Flight.
Life Flight helicopters and planes are utilized for seriously injured and ill patients needing rapid transportation to a medical facility fully capable of addressing the patient's needs.
"Often times, heart attack and stroke patients benefit just as much as trauma patients from the high-level of care provided by the flight crews. It's not just rapid transport, its rapid transport with the best possible clinical care", says Griffiths.
Communities such as Yakima, Wenatchee, Walla Walla, Heppner, Hermiston, Pendleton and many others will benefit from having a plane based closer to their needs. Life Flight is capable of transporting patients from these areas to anywhere in the Pacific Northwest on a moments notice.
The Dallesport base is staffed 7/24 with a critical care flight nurse and flight paramedic. Emphasizing its focus on safety, Life Flight is one of the only air medical programs based in Oregon that staffs all of its planes with both a pilot and a co-pilot.