N811LV enters service as WellFlight 4-90

July 26, 2023 |Roger Buck | Stevens, PA

This week N811LV , sporting a new Wellspan livery, entered service as WellFlight 4-90 based at the Stevens Fire Department in Stevens, Pennsylvania. N811LV replaces N341AM, the temporary Air Methods aircraft brought in to start up the base in March 2023. 

The seasoned enthusiast will recognize N811LV as the previous LVHN MedEvac 1 in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Air Methods will be changing the N # soon. Once the change occurs, the N811LV registration will be reassigned to the EC135 now serving with LVHN MedEvac 1 in Kutztown.

Photo by Roger Buck.

MFC places first AW119 in service

July 17, 2023 | Mercy Flight Press Release | Canandaigua, NY

Mercy Flight Central is celebrating an exciting milestone as the first of their four new AW119 helicopters goes into service on Monday, July 17, 2023. The state-of-the-art helicopter will be in service at the Canandaigua base, with their Marcellus and Rome bases next to be equipped with the new airframe. 

The fleet of AW119 helicopter will support Mercy Flight Central’s mission of providing high quality care to the critically ill or injured. As MFC is in their 31st year of dedicated service to their community, this new helicopter represents not only a historic moment for MFC, but also a renewed commitment to the communities that they serve.  

President & CEO Erin Reese stated “­­­I am proud of my team’s dedication to bringing these new aircraft into service. They have embraced change while learning new skills. Our new helicopters will help us continue to serve our community, being there for them when they need us most.”

Photo by MFC.F

UMASS LifeFlight opens base at Fitchburg Municipal Airport

Fitchburg, MA – April 5, 2023 – Providing decades of service throughout the Nation, Air Methods—the leading air medical service provider in the U.S.—is thrilled to announce a new location providing critical emergency air medical service to northern Worcester County and beyond. The base will be located at Fitchburg Municipal Airport. The City of Fitchburg recognizes the importance of fast, reliable air medical services in the event of an emergency.

“We value the partnership we’ve established with Air Methods,” said Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale. “We know in emergent situations Air Methods’ local air medical program is ready to answer the call and provide the highest level of critical care to our residents and visitors.”

The new base offers the community access to critical lifesaving services 24/7/365, responding to emergency medical and trauma events including heart attacks and strokes, pediatric emergencies, burns, and other incidents. Additionally, the team provides critical interfacility transports when patients need to move between hospitals for specialized care. Equipped with industry-leading equipment and medical devices, the team carries and has the ability to administer blood in flight, provide advanced airway intervention; cardiac and blood flow monitoring; ventilator management; medication administration and titration (monitoring potential side effects); and other advanced surgical procedures—essentially bringing in-flight emergency and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capabilities directly to the patient’s side.  

By establishing a partnership with the City of Fitchburg, Air Methods is positioned to not only improve access to emergency services but improve response times. Additionally, as a community-centered service, this investment positively impacts the local economy.

“In addition to a flying emergency department and ICU, our goal is to invest in the communities we serve by providing an economic footprint that includes rent, fuel, food, hotels, and adding numerous fulltime positions,” said Air Methods’ Vice President of Customer Experience Steve Konold.

Air Methods is committed to providing air medical services to all residents and visitors of the communities they serve.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Mayor DiNatale, the Airport Commission, and Airport Manager Peter Kettle on this lifesaving investment. This strategic location will ensure our ability to help treat and transport critically ill and injured patients when minutes matter most,” said Konold.

LifeNet of New York expands Air Medical Services in Mohawk Valley

March 28, 2023 | Air Methods Release

Mohawk Valley, NY –  As a trusted emergency air medical provider serving the state of New York for more than 20 years, LifeNet is expanding critical care coverage by opening a new location in Oneida County. The opening of LifeNet 7-14, a subdivision of Air Methods, serves as a community resource providing comprehensive coverage to central New York’s residents and visitors.

LifeNet 7-14 joins the existing aircraft bases LifeNet 7-2, 7-8, and 7-10 — in Johnstown, Sidney, and Watertown including 7-9 Potsdam’s fixed wing service — which all respond to the Mohawk Valley and beyond. The LifeNet team provides additional support to first responders, hospital systems, and non-profit emergency resources, and offers the community critical care 24/7/365, responding to emergency medical and trauma events including heart attacks and strokes, pediatric emergencies, burns, and other incidents. Additionally, the team provides critical interfacility transports when patients need to move between hospitals for specialized care.

“By opening this resource, LifeNet is positioned to not only improve access to emergency services but improve response times,” said LifeNet Account Executive Colleen Gleeson. “With the need for additional services on already taxed EMS and healthcare systems not just in this state, but across the country, LifeNet is equipped and stands ready to support patient care and transport for the region.”

LifeNet 7-14 operates an EC130 aircraft, transporting patients to their destination quickly. The aircraft coupled with the highly skilled flight team makes all the difference in saving a life. The flight team includes a pilot, nurse, and paramedic.

The LifeNet Flight Team is certified and has state-of-the-art specialty care training that provides the same level of care one would receive in the hospital during air medical transport from the scene or for inner facility transports. Equipped with industry-leading equipment and medical devices, the team carries and has the ability to administer blood in flight, provide advanced airway intervention; cardiac and blood flow monitoring; ventilator management; medication administration and titration – monitoring potential side effects; and other advanced surgical procedures.

“Having access to blood for scene calls and/or in flight is such a valuable resource in our community,” said Gleeson. “With this tool, patients have the potential for better outcomes. Administration of blood, combined with rapid air transport, can truly help critically ill or injured patients who otherwise might not survive.”

Due to unpredictable weather events, LifeNet 7-14 operations will be based at its sister location in Watertown, NY, and will provide service to the Mohawk Valley Region from this location until weather conditions permit relocation to a permanent base in Oneida County. LifeNet’s high-caliber crew stands ready to serve when called upon by contacting emergency dispatch at 1-800-435-3822.

Past Life Lion helicopter retires from Air Medical Ops

March 28, 2023

Cool story about N365SJ, once operated by Penn State Health Life Lion, and two other older dauphin helicopters from Mercy Health Life Flight Network in Toledo, Ohio. Dave Sparks (Heavy D), an American entrepreneur, custom vehicle builder, and social media personality from Salt Lake City, Utah, recently purchased N365SJ, N293SV and N93SV from Mercy Health. Follow this link to see the video:

With the sale of these helicopters, Mercy Health Life Flight has downsized from 4 bases to 2 bases, leaving LF2 at Fulton County Airport and Life Flight 4 at Sandusky County Airport. Reports are that they will be adding another A109 this summer to go with the 3 existing A109s in their fleet: N91SV, N63SV and N95RZ.

WellFlight Lancaster Base Opens

March 23, 2023 | Air Methods Release

Lancaster, PA – Expanding critical care coverage, Air Methods—in partnership with WellSpan Health—opened a new base today in Lancaster County to better serve residents and visitors of central and southern Pennsylvania. The new base, WellFlight Lancaster, is the second joint venture base between Air Methods and WellSpan Health.

With an already established and successful base in Gettysburg, PA, the new WellFlight Lancaster base increases comprehensive coverage in the area by adding another air medical service to the skies to positively impact patient outcomes. The new base location aims to improve access to emergency services centered on transporting sick patients as well as scene and trauma-related calls within surrounding communities assisting fire and emergency medical service (EMS) teams, quickening response times.

“We’re thrilled to continue the partnership with Air Methods and expand critical care access to the communities we serve,” said Dr. Michael Seim, senior vice president and chief quality officer, WellSpan Health. “By continuing the partnership, we are ensuring the best recovery possible for our patients.”

WellFlight’s parent company, Air Methods, continual investment, and commitment to safety over the years has been critical in providing pre-hospital, lifesaving care. With a safety-centered service, Air Methods is in the top one percent of all part 135 operators (nearly 2,000 operators in the industry) to receive a letter of acknowledgment from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accepting Air Methods’ Safety Management System (SMS).

“Air Methods and the WellFlight program are dedicated to continuous improvement of its safety operations and culture, believing that our SMS program is essential to continuous improvement and unparalleled protections for our crews and patients,” said Air Methods Account Executive Ron Brown. “We evaluate communication, operations, clinical quality, and patient safety outcomes for every flight to improve and elevate our services.”

WellFlight Lancaster is a community-based service—operating 24/7/365 service coverage for the region—and is equipped with the most reliable and safe aircraft in the industry, transporting patients to their destinations quickly. The aircraft coupled with the highly skilled crew, which consists of a pilot, nurse, and paramedic, makes all the difference in saving a life.

The team achieved the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) and carries the critical tools, medications, and supplies needed to provide lifesaving interventions at the scene and ICU-level care while in flight. On every flight, the team carries blood and blood products (i.e. blood plasma), positively increasing patient outcomes through pre-hospital care. Additionally, the clinical team is extensively trained to provide, when needed, advanced airway intervention; cardiac (including balloon pump/Impella) and blood flow monitoring; ventilator management; medication administration and titration – monitoring potential side effects; and other advanced specialty surgical procedures.

“Where seconds make all the difference in saving a life, the highly trained air medical team is capable of lifesaving interventions at the scene and in flight,” said Brown. “We are incredibly versatile in what we do, fundamentally serving as a flying intensive care unit.”
The WellFlight team is co-housed with Stevens Fire Company, a volunteer-driven and non-profit community organization. The alliance with the fire department provides for improved and comprehensive care between partners.

“By training with our local Fire and EMS partners and being part of the community, we’re producing more efficient and effective response times—arriving faster on the scene and following accurate and safe procedures—leading to seamless patient care,” said Brown. “We couldn’t be prouder of the partnership we are building with our Fire and EMS teams.”

Life Lion adds new base in Lancaster County

March 6, 2023 | Penn State Health Release

Penn State Health Life Lion Critical Care Transport is deepening its commitment to Lancaster County and all of central Pennsylvania by welcoming a new helicopter to its lifesaving fleet and establishing a new critical care transport base on the Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center campus.

The newest aircraft joins a fleet of three other helicopters and is an H155 model, developed by Airbus as part of its Dauphin family of helicopters. It is the same model as the last helicopter to join the Life Lion fleet in 2018. Life Lion now has the two largest aeromedical helicopters in the state, equipped with large interior cabins that allow for advanced lifesaving equipment and space for crew members and medical specialists to administer care. All four Life Lion aircraft have two engines and are equipped with instruments that allow for safe flight in a wide range of conditions, including low visibility.

“Regularly updating and expanding our equipment reinforces our ability to provide the highest-quality care for critically ill and injured patients,” said Keith McMinn, director of Penn State Health Life Lion. “Adding a new helicopter to our fleet allows us to increase our capacity to provide leading-edge medical care to the region.”

The new critical care transport base at Lancaster Medical Center will provide closer medical air and ground transport coverage to residents of Lancaster County and the surrounding region. Life Lion operates two other bases, one on the campus of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and one at Carlisle Airport. All three locations are staffed by expertly trained, highly-specialized crew members including flight nurses, flight paramedics and pilots as well as a skilled and experienced in-house maintenance team. Communications specialists familiar with the region facilitate communication and continuous real-time tracking during all transports from the Life Lion Communications Center located at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.  At any given time, three of Life Lion’s four helicopters are in service while the fourth is undergoing scheduled maintenance.

“Safe air transport when moments count is a key component of high-quality emergency medical care, and adding a base for it here reflects our commitment to being close to our patients when they need us most,” said Dr. Michael Reihart, director of emergency services at Lancaster Medical Center.

In addition to the four helicopters, Life Lion Critical Care has a pediatric ground transport ambulance. Since its first patient flight in 1986, Life Lion has flown more than 45,000 patients, including stroke and cardiac patients, traumatic accident and burn victims, critically ill infants and others in urgent need of high-level care. About 15 percent of Life Lion’s flights are trauma-related and the other 85 percent are inter-hospital transports, including patients in need of care and organs for transplant. Life Lion pilots have an average of 34 years of experience, while the program’s paramedics average 22 years and nurses average 18 years of experience.