LONGVIEW, Wash. Two Life Flight helicopters that operate in Portland and southwest Washington have been grounded due to the government shutdown.

Life Flight helicopters are often the first life-saving transport of seriously ill or injured patients at the scene of an emergency around the Northwest.

Domenic Pomponio is the regional director for Life Flight in Lewiston, Idaho. He said helicopters in Longview and Dallasport, Washington cannot get routine inspections by the Federal Aviation Administration, and therefore they cannot fly.

Pomponio said Life Flight has helicopters in Aurora and Eugene, Oregon that can still fly in the area.

Life Flight also has helicopters in La Grande, Ontario, Pendleton and Redmond Oregon along with Boise, Lewiston, Pocatello and Sandpoint, Idaho.

Pomponio said Life Flight is working to get the helicopters cleared to fly but Wednesday would be the earliest they would be cleared.

Over the past 35 years, Life Flight's not-for-profit medical service has transported more than 75,000 patients.

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