Two US-based air medical transport and rescue programmes are celebrating major anniversaries this year, each one marking multiple decades of life-saving service to thousands of patients.
Intermountain Life Flight is celebrating its 45th anniversary, while Classic Air Medical is commemorating its 35th anniversary. Both are part of the Intermountain Health system and serve patients across the USA.
Intermountain Life Flight, which is the only civilian air medical transport programme in the nation licensed by the FAA to perform hoist rescues, began service in August 1978.
During the past 45 years, the Intermountain Life Flight programme, which began with one helicopter at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, has transported 118,756 patients by aeroplane and helicopter more than 17.3 million patient miles.
“The Intermountain Life Flight programme has a deep history, with Life Flight’s first flight to Roosevelt, Utah, in 1978 and Classic Air Medical beginning services on Memorial Day 1988,” said Rob Allen, President and CEO of Intermountain Health. “Combined, the two transport 32 patients a day. The success of the Intermountain Life Flight programme is thanks to the many caregivers in the air and on the ground, who have dedicated themselves to helping our many communities and people in need.”
Meanwhile, Classic Air Medical, also part of the Intermountain Health system, is celebrating 35 years of service and providing air medical support from 24 bases across the Rocky Mountain and Desert Southwest, with coverage from New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho.
In 2021, Classic Air Medical joined Intermountain Health. Together with Life Flight, this forms the largest air ambulance service supporting not-for-profit healthcare in the USA, with 31 bases throughout the Mountain West and 56 aircraft.
In 2022, Classic Air Medical transported approximately 6,559 patients with its fleet of 32 aircraft, which includes 22 helicopters.