PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center serves as a helicopter base for Airlift Northwest, a rapid emergency air-transport service for ill or critically injured patients. 9-1-1 operators handle dispatching and, for longer flights, jet planes are based in Seattle and Juneau, Alaska.
All Airlift Northwest helicopters and jets are fully dedicated medical air ambulances that operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week and transport from emergency scenes or local hospitals. Physicians, in radio contact with the flight crew, make decisions on transportation based on illness or injury, facility proximity (how close the patient is to the hospital), equipment and licensing.
Airlift Northwest helicopters are Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) equipped. IFR rules govern flight solely by instrumentation during inclement weather; meaning landings are possible at many airports, despite inclement weather conditions.
The Bellingham unit can reach anywhere in the four-county region within 40 minutes. Most locations can be reached within 20 minutes, ensuring emergency medical care to locations with lengthy ground or marine transit times.
Airlift Northwest is a Seattle-based, not-for-profit service founded in 1982 by Children’s, Harborview, Providence and University hospitals. A pilot and two cross-trained registered nurses staff each flight. Their specialties are adult critical/emergency care and pediatric/neonatal critical and emergency care. The company’s service area includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington and western Canada.
PeaceHealth St. Joseph is committed to meeting the emergency trauma and air transport needs of the communities we serve.