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Intermountain Life Flight celebrates 40 years of saving lives

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How’s this for an impressive statistic? Intermountain Life Flight has flown enough miles serving patients to equal 31 round trip voyages to the moon. That’s 15 million miles in 40 years. 

During the past 40 years, Intermountain Life Flight – the only civilian air ambulance program in the United States licensed to perform hoist rescues – has transported nearly 107,000 patients, flown 15 million miles, and completed about 400 hoist rescues. 

Last week, Intermountain Life Flight celebrated its 40th anniversary at the State Capitol with many of the people who have been impacted by its services – including past patients, survivors who have been rescued, and members of the state’s law enforcement and search and rescue community.
To mark the medical milestone, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert proclaimed Aug 29th Intermountain Life Flight Appreciation Day, and honored the men and women of the program in a special ceremony on the south lawn at the State Capitol. Life Flight landed a helicopter on the Capitol grounds for the event. 

Speakers included: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert; Rob Allen, Intermountain Healthcare SVP and Chief Operating Officer; Pamela Moore, Intermountain Life Flight Executive Director; Makiah Macey, Life Flight Rescue Survivor; and Lt. Alan Siddaway from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. 

“Today we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of Intermountain Life Flight,” the governor told those in attendance. “I’m grateful to the men and women of this organization who bring urgent medical help to those in crisis.”

“I’m struck by the sound of Life Flight landing and the relief that brings to the Search and Rescue scene we often find ourselves in with injured people,” said Lt Alan Siddaway w/Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
“At the very heart of what they do, their focus is on those they are serving in our community. I’m forever grateful to their dedication.” Pam Moore, Executive Director of the Life Flight family.

“It has to be extremely stressful for the Life Flight teams, but their compassion wins out.” Rob Allen, Intermountain Healthcare’s senior vice president and chief operating officer.
“It’s been 40 years that you’ve been turning the table on tragedies in our community, because of your dedicated efforts,” the governor said. 

We’re glad Life Flight is there providing service to us in times of need. I’m grateful for their service,” the governor added. 

Intermountain Life Flight Facts

Since 1978 Intermountain Life Flight has:
Transported 106,875 patients
Flown 14,864,299 patient miles
Transported 14 patients every day
Performed  362 hoist rescue missions

Intermountain Life Flight aircrafts:

  • Six helicopters
  • 1 Agusta 109 k2 with hoist
  • 5 Agusta Grand 109 SP one with hoist
  • Three airplanes
  • Beechcraft King Air B-200
  • Cessna Citation CJ4

Seven Bases:

  1. Intermountain Medical Center, Murray
  2. McKay Dee Hospital, Ogden
  3. Day basing in Logan
  4. Primary Children’s Medical Center, Salt Lake City
  5. Utah Valley Hospital, Provo
  6. Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George
  7. Day basing in Cedar City
  8. Uinta Basin Medical Center, Roosevelt
  9. Life Flight Operations Center, Salt Lake International Airport 

Specialty Transport Teams include:

  • Neonatal (pre-term babies to 30 days)
  • Pediatric
  • Rural Ground Transport
  • High Risk OB
  • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump
  • Cardiopulmonary Support and Ventricular Assist Device
  • High Acuity Ventilator Support
  • Hoist – Search & Rescue
  • Adult

Intermountain Life Flight History
1978 – Began helicopter service on July 5, 1978, based at LDS Hospital with one Alouette III helicopter, six nurses, 20 paramedics, two pilots, and two mechanics. The helicopter, pilots, and mechanics were leased from Rocky Mountain Helicopters in Provo, Utah. Intermountain Life Flight was the seventh air ambulance service in the United States.
1979 – Began pediatric transport service with 8 nurses specializing in pediatric care and transport with the team based at Primary Children’s Hospital.
1983 – Opened a new helicopter base in Evanston, Wyoming.
1989 – Began helicopter operations in St. George, Utah.
1990 – Partnered with Primary Children’s Medical Center to provide neonatal transport service.
1993 – Took delivery of  two new Agusta k2 109 helicopters to replace the Alloutte III.
2000 – Began daytime operations at Utah Valley Hospital. The first flight from the Provo base was on September 5, 2000. Helicopter operations at the Utah Valley Hospital began 24/7 operations in early 2004. In June 2012, Utah Valley Hospital was the second Intermountain Life Flight base to receive new state-of-the-art Agusta Grand SP helicopters.
2001 – Became the first civilian hoist rescue operator in the United States. As of 2018, Intermountain Life Flight is still the only civilian air ambulance in the U.S. certified by the FAA to conduct hoist rescue operations.
2001 – Began operations in Northern Utah at the McKay-Dee Hospital Base in Ogden.
2002 – Intermountain Healthcare and Intermountain Life Flight were selected to provide health care and air medical services during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
2004 – Added two Bell single engine 407 helicopters to the Intermountain Life Flight fleet.
2004 – Adopted the use of advanced night vision goggles after an extensive training program for crew members. Began flying all night missions with goggles.
2009 – Added a 2006 Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200 to the current three airplane fleet.
2011 – Inaugurated new rotor base in St. George with an Agusta 109 k2 helicopter at Dixie Regional Medical Center.
2012 – Placed into service the first two of five Agusta 109 New Grand helicopters with a dedication ceremony at Intermountain Medical Center. The Bell 407 helicopters were replaced with new Agusta 109 Grand New helicopters.
2013 – Began day basing at Logan Regional Hospital.
2015 – Opened a new base in Roosevelt, Utah, at Uintah Basin Hospital.
2016 – Took delivery of a new Cessna CJ4 Jet, contracting with Intermountain Donor Services for organ transplant flights, and beginning the process of configuring the jet for neonatal and adult patient transports.

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