SEATTLE — Unbeknownst to many living in Kitsap County, a familiar Pacific Northwest air medical transport provider to those on the Seattle side of Puget Sound has set up a new base at the Bremerton National Airport.
Airlift Northwest expanded its services and capabilities on the Olympic Peninsula and surrounding communities in December.
“With growing populations on the Olympic Peninsula and increasing traffic congestion comes the increased need for air medical transport for emergent and critical patients,” said Chris Martin, executive director of Airlift Northwest.
“This is a great addition to our airport and industrial park facilities,” said Jim Rothlin, Port of Bremerton’s CEO. “We were very happy to find this perfect location for Airlift Northwest and provide the facilities that they needed to carry out their operations.”
In trauma situations, timing is crucial, Martin said. In coordination with local first responders and hospitals, he said, the Airlift Northwest helicopter can get sick patients to their destination for care within minutes.
Airlift Northwest’s Augusta A109E helicopter Airlift 2, previously based at Boeing Field in Seattle, has been repositioned to its new home in Bremerton. The helicopter is a flying intensive care unit that travels at 150 mph to provide critical care 24/7, Martin added. In addition, blood and plasma products are available on the aircraft, which can save time and lives while patients are en route to the hospital.
All aviation services, pilots and mechanics are provided by Air Methods Corporation and Aero Air, LLC. Airlift Northwest is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems.
Since Airlift Northwest’s inception 35 years ago, their helicopters have flown more than 100,000 patients to and from medical services. The company now average about 3,800 patients each year.
Airlift Northwest operates six bases from Seattle, Arlington, Bellingham, Olympia and Bremerton. These bases purposely overlap to provide back-up coverage and quick response times for all Western Washington residents.
Each flight is conducted with two critical care flight nurses trained to the highest level and certification, according to the company website, and backed up by trauma and emergency room physicians. For more information, visit www.airliftnw.org/Bremerton.