Emergency Transportation

​Airlift Northwest

Airlift Northwest transports critically ill and injured patients within flying intensive care units staffed by highly skilled nurses. Our critical care flight nurses are trained to handle medical conditions ranging from advanced cardiac life support to neonatal resuscitation. Airlift Northwest coordinates all aspects of medical care and communications so that patients are appropriately cared for from pickup to delivery to the medical care setting that best suits their condition.

Airlift Northwest has five helicopters and six planes in its fleet, and responds to calls from one of five bases located strategically throughout the Pacific Northwest. Our aircraft are equipped with the most up-to-date safety equipment and our pilots are all instrument-rated and trained to the highest standards in the industry. We operate 24 hours a day —every day—and service the states of Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Airlift Northwest is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services.

Airlift Northwest FAQ

Q. Who decides when air medical transportation is needed? How do I go about receiving service from Airlift Northwest?

A. The attending physician or emergency response team may determine that air medical transportation is needed when you or a family member are seriously ill or injured. In those cases, you may request services from Airlift Northwest.

Q. Is a family member allowed to ride along in the airplane or helicopter?

A. We try to take a family member as a passenger if possible, as long as the family member is not impaired in any capacity and is appropriately clothed for the journey.

Q. What is the Airlift Northwest App?

A. The Airlift Northwest app—Activate—is designed for first responders. The Activate app gives medics an easy direct connection to the dispatch center. It also provides a view of traffic and weather, service area maps, field guides such as a pediatric dose chart, educational content, news, and location and contact information. It is designed to be a one-stop resource for first responders summoning air medical transportation.

Download the free Airlift Northwest app for Apple or the Airlift Northwest app for Android.

Q. Where are Airlift Northwest’s flight bases located?

A. In Washington:
Seattle, Arlington, Bellingham, Olympia and Yakima

In Alaska:

Q. What planes and helicopters are in your fleet?

A. In Washington
  • One Augusta A109E Power and four Aibus H-135 high-performance helicopters are based in Bellingham, Arlington, Seattle, Yakima and Olympia
  • One fixed wing Pilatus PC-12 based in Yakima
  • One fixed wing Learjet 31A based in Seattle

Learn more about our Washington fleet.

In Alaska
  • One fixed-wing Learjet 31A is based in Juneau
  • One fixed wing Turbo Commander (which will be swapped out for a Pilatus PC-12 in the first quater of 2017) is based in Juneau

Learn more about our Alaska fleet.

Q. Is Airlift accredited?

A. Airlift Northwest has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS) since 1997. Accreditation means a medical transport service meets a series of industry standards that address issues of patient care and safety.

Q. What are your nurses’ credentials?

A. We fly with two highly skilled critical care nurses on every flight, with at least one trained in pediatrics. Our nurses have current certifications in:
  • Advanced cardiac life support
  • Pediatric advanced life support
  • Trauma nursing core course
  • Neonatal resuscitation program
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Each team also has flight nurses with one of the following certifications:

  • Critical care nursing (CCRN)
  • Emergency nursing (CEN)
  • Flight nursing (CFRN)
  • Specialty (RNC)

This level of expertise is unique in the air medical industry and comparable to that found in a hospital intensive care unit.

Q. What is an AirCare membership?

A. Airlift Northwest is pleased to offer AirCare membership, a program that provides Washington residents with high-quality air medical transport service at an affordable cost. Lifesaving air medical transport can be expensive and insurances may not cover all costs. As an AirCare member, only your insurance company receives a bill. Airlift Northwest works directly with your insurance company for claims processing. The AirCare membership program is secondary to all payers.

The purpose of the AirCare membership is to cover the patient responsibility amount indicated by the insurance company’s explanation of benefit for all emergent and medically necessary air medical transport services that are provided to the closest, most appropriate facility. Airlift Northwest offers AirCare membership through two programs: AirCare in Washington and AirCare in Southeast Alaska.​