A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

That’s the sound of medical transport

Written June 8th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

A Life Flight helicopter is about to land at Albany General Hospital on May 31, 2024.

On the evening of the last day of May, the whop-whop-whop of an approaching helicopter drew my attention upward. Then I saw the aircraft preparing to land at Albany General Hospital, and I got off the bike and watched.

You’d think that air transport of patients would be rare at a small hospital like Albany’s, but apparently not.

“Last year (January through December) we had 44 patients transported using the helipad,” Leslie Fager of Samaritan Health Services told me via email.

The helicopter I watched on May 31 was one of the aircraft of Life Flight Network, a not-for-profit business that provides air and ground medical transport in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

According to its website, the company is organized as an Oregon limited liability corporation owned by Oregon Health & Science University, Legacy Health, Saint Adolphus Regional Medical Center, and Providence Health Services.

It has offices in Portland and Aurora, OR, and Seattle.

Life Flight says it transports more than 1,500 patients a month with “ICU-level care,” including more than 1,700 newborns and older children per year.

You can learn more about this vital service from its website, and I invite you to take a look. Then, next time you hear or see a helicopter swooping in low over West Albany, you’ll have an idea about what’s going on. (hh)

2 responses to “That’s the sound of medical transport”

  1. Coffee says:

    Thanks, Hasso. We wouldn’t see that helicopter land at Albany General without your bike rides and your cameras.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    Such an essential service! We are so fortunate to have Life Flight here in our area!!


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