October 18, 2007
"This move not only improves our response time to the patient when we're called," Deering said, "it provides a larger space so that pilots and nurses can be together in the same office complex. This is important because it allows us to be in close communication with one another - all of which adds up to better patient care and service."
Deering emphasized that the move will be conducted without an interruption in service. All flight requests for patient transport are handled through the Airlift Northwest ComCenter in Seattle, which is staffed around the clock.
Airlift Northwest launched its full-time base in Ketchikan in May 2006. It is staffed with five nurses and six pilots who live in the community and actively participate in local organizations. Airlift Northwest nurses teach a wide range of classes for medical and emergency services personnel throughout the region.
The company serves Ketchikan and Southeast Alaska with a Lear 35A jet based here and one in Juneau. Both are medically configured to meet virtually any emergency that may occur during flight. Flight nurses hold advanced degrees or certification in critical care or emergency nursing.
Airlift Northwest began when a tragic house fire in Sitka claimed the lives of three children before they could be safety transported by air to a regional burn center for care. Dr. Michael Copass, Airlift Northwest Founder and Medical Director, was teaching medical professionals in Sitka that day and was called into the emergency room to help care for the children. After that experience, he returned to Seattle, determined to find a way to provide air medical transport for residents in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Airlift Northwest was born.
Airlift Northwest is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS), which means the organization meets a series of high industry standards that address issues of patient care and safety. Airlift Northwest was the first air medical transportation company in Alaska to receive this accreditation.
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