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LifeFlight Brings Help to More Mainers

In response to a growing number of patients who need critical care transport, LifeFlight of Maine is adding a third helicopter later this spring. LifeFlight will also open a third base of operations at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport.
“The airport in Sanford is the next best geographic location,” said Melissa Arndt, communications director for LifeFlight of Maine. “When you look at the mathematics of population and coverage, adding a base in Sanford means LifeFlight will be able to reach the most population in the least amount of time.” Currently, LifeFlight of Maine has helicopters based in Lewiston, at Central Maine Medical Center, and in Bangor at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Crew members at the new southern Maine location will work closely with Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC), but will remain certified employees of either EMMC or CMMC.

Looking at a map of Maine, some may wonder why Sanford was chosen as the next base. “Sanford can serve a larger population,” said Melissa. “Our new fixed-wing airplane based in Bangor is better suited to efficiently cover the longer distance transports to Down East and northern Maine, as well as to Boston, Cleveland, and as far away as North Carolina.” Each helicopter can transport an average of 700 patients per year, with the airplane and ground teams taking care of about 350 additional patients. Over the past four years requests for LifeFlight emergency transport services in Maine have increased by about 32 percent.

“We land at every hospital in Maine already,” said Melissa. “The increase in calls warranted the addition of a new helicopter so more people get the right care, at the right time, and in the right place. Especially for stroke or cardiac arrest patients, every second counts, so having a base closer to the larger population of Maine means emergency transport services can be completed in shorter distance and time.”

LifeFlight of Maine is a statewide, nonprofit air medical service that transports critically ill and injured patients, delivering the highest quality of care. LifeFlight is jointly operated by EMHS and Central Maine Healthcare.