Life Flight

Federal shutdown grounds Longview's Life Flight helicopter

2013-10-14T16:55:00Z 2014-12-12T13:26:02Z Federal shutdown grounds Longview's Life Flight helicopterBy Barbara LaBoe / The Daily News Longview Daily News
October 14, 2013 4:55 pm  • 

The government shutdown has grounded St. John Medical Center’s Life Flight helicopter, but other Life Flight helicopters still are available for patients in need, hospital officials said.

The Life Flight copter that’s usually based at St. John has been recalled to Portland. Due to the federal shutdown, that helicopter hasn’t been able to be recertified by the Federal Aviation Administration and can’t fly, said hospital spokesman Randy Querin.

Hillsboro-based Life Flight Helicopter has other helicopters that have been certified, though, and can still dispatch those from Portland when needed, Querin said. However, the helicopters will not be based here for now.

The Life Flight helicopter that’s usually based at St. John Medical Center in Longview has been recalled to Portland. The Federal Aviation Administration can't recertify the helicopter because of the federal shutdown.

“They just reshuffled their deck, so if we need a flight here locally it will come from Portland,” Querin said.

It’s the same system that was used for years until Life Flight decided to base a helicopter here in 2008. There may a slightly longer wait to get the helicopter — it takes about 18 minutes to fly from Portland and Longview — but Querin said the hospital can still transport patients if needed.

“It’s only been a few years that we’ve had a helicopter parked (on the parking garage roof),” he said.

Life Flight helicopters are staffed by medical personnel and equipment and are used to transfer seriously sick or injured patients to larger hospitals quicker than an ambulance ride.

The shutdown-related change is an adjustment, but won’t interrupt treatment, Querin said.

“Life Flight met with our emergency department personnel today to give them a status update,” he said Monday. “They’re still available for us.

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. Transplant
    Report Abuse
    Transplant - October 15, 2013 8:59 am
    I watch Life Flight when it arrives from the north. Instead of being annoyed, I see it as a blessing- someone getting critical care in a timely manner. And now these people suffer at the hands of selfish, greedy politicians. I'm sickened by it. It's time for this president to be presidential, for the first time in his term. Bring both parties back to the table, and do the jobs we elected (and PAY) you all to do. Get to work or get out of Washington. This isn't American.
  2. dutchman
    Report Abuse
    dutchman - October 15, 2013 1:48 pm
    Couldn't agree more. They all should be fired. They are worse than children, you can at least sit a child down and begin to reason with them. Both parties are to blame, as well as, the President. Maybe there will be a change the next time they come up for election, just remember the great job they have done NOT.
  3. gillnetter mole
    Report Abuse
    gillnetter mole - October 15, 2013 3:53 pm
    Longview itself in one of TDN's vote here things!! 70 plus percent of you said shutdown the Government ! NOW YOU GET WHAT YOU WANTED !
  4. happytimes
    Report Abuse
    happytimes - October 16, 2013 4:09 pm
    I just read a press release earlier this month that states Life Flight just took delivery of their 10th new helicopter.
    http://www.spsairbuz.net/news/?id=326&h=AgustaWestland-delivers-10th-AW119Kxto-Life-Flight-Network
    Don't they promote themselves as having 12 chopper bases? How does that equate to full coverage in all areas they serve? Something doesn't seem right about this. I'm not sure I believe the government shutdown is the only thing preventing them from flying.
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