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AirLift Northwest

Describe your program: (RW/FW/Ground)


What types of vehicles does your program utilize?

Agusta 109E, Airbus H-135, Pilatus PC-12, Learjet 31A


What is the history of your program?

In 1980, a remote house fire claimed the lives of three children in Sitka, Alaska. This tragic event profoundly impacted Dr. Michael Copass, who served as Director of Emergency Services at Harborview Medical Center for 35 years, retiring in 2008, motivating him to address the urgent need for airborne critical care. Airlift Northwest’s first official transport was on March 17, 1982 in a Piper Cheyenne turboprop; the region’s first flying intensive care unit. Over the years, our fleet has grown to include five dual-engine helicopters, three turboprop airplanes, and two Lear jets. We have grown to include six bases throughout Washington and Alaska, including Juneau, Bellingham, Arlington, Seattle, Olympia and Yakima, with a new, seventh, base in Bremerton. We fly about 3,800 patients a year, and have flown over 100,000 in our 36-year history.


What is your crew configuration?

2 flight nurses and a Pilot


What type(s) of transports does your program do? (i.e. scene vs inter-facility, PEDS, NICU, ECMO, etc.)

Inter-facility, scene, PEDS, NICU, balloon pump, isolette, etc.


What makes your program special/ different?

We are not only the premier air ambulance service in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska, we are the most innovative and responsive. As an entity of UW Medicine, we have access to the doctors, nurses, and resources that can truly save lives. For instance, we now offer 2 units of packed red blood cells (PRBCs) and plasma on every flight. We love our first responder and hospital staff partners, and offer training and education to folks in rural areas. Ultimately, it is our dedication to our mission and patients that we are inspired and proud to offer.


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Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association
13918 E. Mississippi Avenue, Suite 215
Aurora, CO 80012
Ph: 303-344-0457
Fax: 800-937-9890