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Life Flight Network buys 12 new Bell helicopters, expanding its fleet

The new helicopters give the Aurora-based trauma responder a much greater reach for responding to rural emergencies.

AURORA, Ore. — Life Flight Network, the air ambulance operator that flies patients to trauma centers in the Portland area, is buying 12 new helicopters.

The nonprofit will add 12 more Bell 407GXi helicopters to its air medical fleet, for a total of 17. Delivery of the aircraft will begin in May 2022, the company said in a news release. 

Life Flight Network also operates other helicopters and airplanes throughout its service area, but the Bell 407GXi helicopters are particularly helpful when serving rural communities throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West, the company said.

With a range of over 400 miles and an airspeed of 161 miles per hour, the Bell 407GXi is able to transport patients quickly. The aircraft also has a power-to-weight ratio that helps the craft perform well at higher altitudes, like in the mountains. 

Each Bell 407GXi will be equipped for ICU-level care to be provided in transport. These aircraft are staffed with a certified flight registered nurse and a certified flight paramedic.

Life Flight Network bills itself as the nation’s largest not-for-profit air ambulance provider. Throughout Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Montana, the company has 25 rotor-wing bases, nine fixed-wing bases, and two neonatal and pediatric bases and operates 30 ground ambulances. 

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