March 26, 2019
Meeting was called to order by Carol Johnson at 7:30am. Paul led the flag salute.
Thought of the Day:
Peggy gave a Port Angeles history moment.
Carol and Debbie were both not present at the March 19 meeting, no minutes were presented.
Mike McAleer, new member
A card was passed around for Edna, Peggy talked about the Kiwanis Auction, Dan Gase talked about the Wings of Freedom with 5 planes this year, Debbie announced a school tour April 23, and is selling challenge coins for Pennies For Quarters. Dee announced that today is Joshua’s 25th anniversary.
Program: Jacob Dalstra, Regional Director of Life Flight
Formed in 1978, they are the largest air emergency handler in WA and a not for profit organization owned by Legacy Health, Saint Alphonsus, Providence and Oregon Health & Scientific University.
Their focus is having state of the art instruments and learning how helicopters can be flown better. They fly trauma and non-trauma and are membership based.
They work with the US Coast Guard by picking up at the base, Life Flight does not have a hoist.
Jacob asked for questions.
He said there are no altitude restrictions here and all they need is a 100x100sf area to land which includes beaches, highways and fields. A copter can fly 175 nautical miles one way. Airplanes can fly farther to CA and the east coast. Wind affects planes more than helicopters.
Helicopters transport single patients only.
They constantly train pilots and some are former coast guard. This copter covers the San Juan Islands, Jefferson and Clallam counties. Non-members can be transported but are subject to their insurance. You don’t have to have insurance to be a member.
A typical copter flight can be up to $20K.
Life Flight flies with one nurse, one paramedic, and one pilot. People must call 911 first when they have an emergency, they will determine when service is needed. Life Flight can also be activated at the hospital. The reason they chose Port Angeles is no emergency flight could get here in under 30 minutes.
They don’t fly to Canada but will meet at the border to pickup American patients. The Coast Guard mostly will medivac off a cruise ship.
At other locales, they serve about one flight a day, he estimates here about 200 – 250 a year. They also do search and assist at no charge.
They employ full time 4 pilots, 4 nurses, 4 paramedics, and 2 mechanics. They will add a fixed wing for 4 more pilots and a mechanic ending with over a million in payroll. The crew is based at Fairchild Airport and operate like a fire department, able to be off the ground in 7 – 10 minutes.
Life Flight has a good charitable program. They try to buy copters when needed, focus on adding services, paying employee benefits, and having state of the art equipment. Most income is from transport and membership and they don’t rely on grants.
A copter costs about $6 – 7M, and they constantly update them. Secondary markets include tourism, commercial and other countries.
Word of mouth is their best marketing with the purpose of not having to worry in an emergency. Gift memberships are possible. $65/year covers a household and discounts apply to veterans, law enforcement and first responders. They can be chartered but insurance won’t pay for it. They will work with Airlift NW if there is a multiple transport emergency.
Carol talked briefly about capital gains tax and business taxes currently in Olympia and asked to please make comments now to legislators.
April 2: Corporal Dombrowski, PAPD
Meeting adjourned at 8:30am.