- Life Flight
Memorial Hermann Life Flight is an air medical transport service based in
Houston, Texas. It was founded in 1976. Service began on August 1st of that year as the second helicopter air medical program in the United States of America. The founder, Dr. James H. "Red" Duke, Jr., is the medical director for Life Flight and has been since its inception. To date, Life Flight has flown more than 110,000 patient missions. Life Flight is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems.
The first helicopter utilized on a Life Flight mission was the French-built SA 319B, also known as the Alouette III. The Alouette served the program well, but was eventually replaced by a newer aircraft, the AS 355 Ecureuil 2, also known as “TwinStar.” The AS 355 boasted many improvements in power, speed, cabin space and stability and was equipped with two turbine engines that greatly improved the safety of operations.
The TwinStar served with Life Flight until the acquisition of the BK 117 helicopter. The BK 117 was built as a joint venture between Messerschmitt Bolkow Blohm (MBB) and
Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The aircraft is particularly special because of its layout, which allows for complete use of the cabin area. It has no structural beams, or pillars, blocking the cabin space, and it also has large rear “clamshell” doors to use for loading and unloading patient stretchers.
With the addition of the BK117, Life Flight has been able to conduct many specialized transports, including
neonataltransport, intra-aortic balloon pump patients, and double patient loads from the same scene.
Life Flight also operates a Bo 105 helicopter, also built by MBB. It features dual engines, double patient load capacity and has a high skid configuration to improve safety around the tail rotor.
The name “Life Flight” was created when the service began, and all rights are owned by Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. No one may legally use the name without a license to do so from Memorial Hermann [ [http://www.hermannlifeflight.com/history.html History of Life flight] ] .
In 2007, Life Flight purchased 6 new EC 145 helicopters to replace the 4 that are currently in use, one will be stationed near the
Port of Houstonto better service that region and one will be dedicated to Pediatrictransport.
[ [http://www.memorialhermann.org/newsroom/032007.htm?DisplayPrintHeader=true Memorial Hermann news release] ] [ [http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou071220_tnt_lifeflight.363972b8.html Memorial Hermann to upgrade Life Flight fleet] ] [ [http://www.pasadenavfd.com/news.html?view=1&id=2858] 1st of 6 New Life Flight Helicopters Delivered]
* [http://www.hermannlifeflight.com Official Life Flight web site]
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