Local EMS and area healthcare professionals support decision to establish an air medical base in Coeur d’Alene.
May 16, 2014 – Aurora, Oregon... Life Flight Network (LFN) announced plans today to base an air medical helicopter at Pappy Boyington Field in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho beginning May 23rd, 2014.
Dominic Pomponio, Regional Director, states, “We are excited to expand our service in Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding communities. The new base is receiving tremendous support from local care providers. Having this resource so closely based to regional hospitals and EMS agencies will undoubtedly save lives.”
LFN, the largest non-profit flight program in the United States, provides critical care transportation for seriously ill or injured patients throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. The Coeur d’Alene base will be home to one of the company’s new AgustaWestland “Koala” helicopters. LFN also is strongly considering placing a fixed-wing aircraft in Coeur d’Alene later this year. LFN’s aircraft offer the ability to transport a critical care team, along with comprehensive life saving medications and state of the art medical equipment. LFN’s air ambulance will be the only resource bringing blood to critically injured patients before they even reach a hospital.
The new Coeur d’Alene base is supported by a number of area EMS and healthcare professionals, including Christopher Way, Chief of the Kootenai County EMS System. He states, “Kootenai County EMS System is pleased to welcome Life Flight Network to Kootenai County, adding a new element to our already outstanding Emergency Medical Services system. The placement of an aircraft at the Coeur d’ Alene airport will allow patients with critical illness and injury to reach a high level of hospital care from the surrounding areas more quickly. KCEMSS and its partner agencies look forward to working with Life Flight and their outstanding patient care and management team as we build this new relationship.”
The company plans to hire 14 employees, including Flight Nurses, Flight Paramedics, Pilots and Mechanics. The payroll and benefits for these highly-skilled personnel will exceed $1,000,000 per year, providing a direct economic benefit for the community.
Mike Griffiths, CEO, states, “Our new base in Coeur d’Alene compliments the goal of the recently approved Idaho Legislature plan to develop a statewide Time Sensitive Emergency system of care. The goal of this legislation, getting patients to the right place in the right time with the right care, will helped to be served by the addition of this new community resource. Life Flight Network and local area health care professionals know many lives will be positively impacted by having a local air medical helicopter.”
LFN has provided award winning high quality critical care air medical service for more than 36 years. Earlier this year, LFN was awarded the, “Excellence in Community Service Award” from the Association of Air Medical Services. LFN has also received the prestigious Program of the Year award, the first program on the West Coast to ever receive the award. LFN is owned by a consortium of four world-class health systems, including Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University and Providence Health System-Oregon.