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Stanford Life Flight

Describe your program: (RW/FW/Ground)

Hospital Based Transport Program-Traditional Model. Non-profit. Primarily rotor wing , but also do a fair amount of ground CCT and occasional Fixed wing flights.


What types of vehicles does your program utilize?

We fly in an Airbus EC145 helicopter currently. We have our own ambulance and have access to a Pilatus PC12 FW when needed through our vendor, Air Methods.

Our helicopter is IFR capable.


What is the history of your program?

Stanford Life Flight is the oldest flight program in California today; 33years and counting. It is the only University/ Teaching hospital-based program in California. The original program was started by Marcia Katz in the mid 1980’s . Marcia Katz, being the first president of ASTNA or NFNA as it was known back then. We have had four ASTNA presidents come from this program.


What is your crew configuration?

When Stanford Life Flight started 33 years ago, it was staffed by an Emergency medicine Attending and a Critical Care RN. A few years later it switched to a duel RN crew configuration with one pilot. Stanford Life Flight remains the only Flight program in California to be staffed with two critical care RNs.


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

We do 911/ scene call response to the local counties around the Bay area as well as a large volume of high acuity, cardio vascular , neuro, trauma critical care transfers. We provide ECMO, IABP , Impella and LVAD transfers to all of Northern California. We also provide PICU, NICU and High risk Obstetric transfers in partnership with our colleagues at Stanford Children’s health, Lucile Packard Children’s hospital. 


What makes your program special/ different?

If I think about this carefully, I would say, the desire for excellence by our entire team with attention to detail and to provide the type of nursing case that is worthy of the Stanford name. I feel we are really lucky that we have both nurses and pilots with many, many years of experience behind them and that makes a huge difference in terms of the quality of care and operational safety. We have highly motivated people working here who are always learning and improving themselves to be better clinicians. I also think we are lucky as we are just a small group of 15 RNs and 4 pilots. Pretty close to one another like family.



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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