Operated jointly by Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems and Central Maine Healthcare Corporation, the independent, non-profit organization ensures state-wide access to specialized equipment, critical care nurses and paramedics. To achieve its vision to provide everyone in Maine with speedy access to the critical care they need, when they need it, LifeFlight operates an integrated fleet of ground and air ambulances, including three helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft.
Two twin-engine Agusta 109E helicopters purchased new in January 2005 travel at an average speed of 165 mph, making the trip from Bangor to Caribou, the most north-eastern city in America, in less than an hour.
One helicopter has been configured to accommodate three crew members and two patients, while the other, based in Bangor at Eastern Maine Medical Center, can carry three crew members and one patient and has an additional fuel tank to accommodate longer trips.
The most recent helicopter to be added to the fleet is an Agusta 109 GrandNew, which features the latest global navigation satellite system. Faster and more powerful than its two stable mates, it can carry more weight and has been designed to accommodate the next generation of care medicine.
LifeFlight’s helicopters are operated and maintained by SevenBar Aviation, which provides eight full- time professional pilots and three full-time professional mechanics. With the arrival of the advanced avionics and performance capabilities of the new aircraft in 2005, LifeFlight was able to make the switch from VFR (visual flight
rules) to IFR (instrument flight rules), allowing its pilots to fly safely in a wider range of visibility conditions and
decreasing the number of times the helicopter is grounded due to weather.
Completing the airborne fleet is LifeFlight’s fixed-wing Beechcraft King Air B200, which provides greater speed and efficiency over long distances and has improved all-weather capability.
Following its addition to the fleet in 2015 the Beechcraft underwent extensive upgrades to its wings, propellers and instrument panel, allowing it to take off and land on some of Maine’s shorter runways, fly faster and provide a smoother ride for critically ill patients.
A new, state-of-the-art avionics installation offersimproved navigation,weather and instrument flight capabilities. Better on-board communications were also installed,as well as a satellite phone that allows the medical crew to speak with specialty physicians while on theground and in the air. In addition, the interior was re-fitted to accommodate two pilots, three medical crew and one patient, and the exterior livery was changed to LifeFlight’s signature green and gold.
Like the helicopters, the fixed wing airplane is operated and maintained by SevenBar Aviation, which provides four fixed wing pilots and one airplane mechanic.
LifeFlight also provides advanced emergency medical training to Maine’s hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS) and public safety agencies.
Nearly 1,800 critically ill and injured patients were cared for last year and since its inception in 1998, LifeFlight has transported more than 22,000 patients from every hospital and nearly all of Maine’s communities and islands.
LifeFlight also runs a Human Patient Simulator (HPS) program, offering emergency medical education directly to rural communities. Participants use advanced computerized manikins to practice skills ranging from basic life support to advanced interventions like intubation.