Airlift Northwest regional manager Jeff Richey is working with local EMS officials to post an air ambulance on San Juan Island for the summer.
Last summer, Airlift Northwest, which is contracted to fly patients off-island to regional hospitals, tried a pilot program, testing whether it was a good idea to station an air crew and evacuation helicopter on the island for the busiest weekends. The pilot program was such a success, the company decided to continue it this summer.
“By basing a helicopter at Friday Harbor,” Richey said, “we are able to (provide) shorter response times not only for your community, but for other islands as well.”
Forty-four percent, nearly half, of Airlift Northwest’s Bellingham dispatches are to San Juan County.
Airlift Northwest offers $79 annual airlift insurance coverage.