Life Flight opening helicopter base on Whidbey

Emergency transportation will soon be more immediate on Whidbey Island.

Life Flight Network is opening a new base at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center.

The ambulance service is expected to be operation by late summer.

Having the nonprofit air ambulance nearby will reduce response times and increase efficiency of transfers to specialty clinics, according to Sean LeVine, assistant manager of WhidbeyHealth EMS.

The helicopter, pilot and medical crew will all be based on the island.

The new base will create almost 20 jobs on Whidbey, according to a press release.

“We would be very familiar with them, which I think is a huge benefit in this field,” LeVine said.

The Life Flight helicopter and crew will also serve the surrounding area, and it will be the second northwest Washington location in the network, the release states.

WhidbeyHealth will house an Agusta-Westland AW109E helicopter, which can travel 172 mph and is equipped to act as a mobile intensive care unit.

The aircraft is expected to be kept on the helipad at the hospital. The nonprofit medical transport service also has a base in Port Angeles that serves the region.

Life Flight Network is the largest nonprofit air medical services in the U.S., the release states.

Life Flight Network serves the Western part of the country, including Alaska.

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