The base will be home to a dedicated aircraft in medical configuration and will enhance Life Flight’s coverage across the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West regions, in collaboration with its existing bases in Cottage Grove, Newport and Aurora.
The aircraft is equipped to enable medical crews to perform a number of complex medical interventions, including video laryngoscopies, emergency blood transfusions and the management of ventilators.
According to Ben Clayton, Chief Executive of Life Flight Network, the new base was established in response to ‘increased demand’ in the Willamette Valley ‘as the population has grown to roughly three million residents’. He added: “The addition of a base in Salem will increase our capacity to support the healthcare needs of rural communities, reducing response times when time is of the essence.”
Salem Fire Chief Mike Niblock described the new base and helicopter as a ‘critical medical asset’ and said that Salem Fire Department ‘is looking forward to Life Flight Network’s upcoming deployment of resources’ to the city.
Life Flight Network previously announced the establishment of another helicopter base in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in January 2022, which opened in spring 2022.