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LifeFlight

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LifeFlight

LifeFlight is an air ambulance service that operates in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

LifeFlight is delivered under contract to the Government of Nova Scotia's Department of Health by Emergency Medical Care Inc. (EMC). EMC is a subsidiary of Medavie EMS which is part of the Medavie Blue Cross group of companies. EMC provides medical staff however the operation of the helicopter is sub-contracted to CHC Helicopter Corporation.

LifeFlight is subsidized for Nova Scotian residents and no fees are charged to patients or sending hospitals or agencies in that province. Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick contract this service and may charge a fee to their residents. Fees are charged to non-Canadian residents.

History

Air ambulance service in Nova Scotia was initiated in 1996 by the Nova Scotia Department of Health in partnership with CHC Helicopter Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society of Alberta. STARS operated the service until 2001 when it opted not to renew its agreement with EHS, citing philosophical diffences over management and fundraising.

Under its new name, LifeFlight, air ambulance services were operated directly by Emergency Health Services, an agency of the Nova Scotia Department of Health, until 2008 when Emergency Medical Care Inc. won the operating contract.

EMC operates all ground ambulance services in Nova Scotia under contract for EHS and is a subsidiary of Medavie EMS Inc. which is itself a holding company within the Medavie Blue Cross group of companies. Medavie EMS also operates all ground ambulance services in New Brunswick through its New Brunswick EMS Inc. subsidiary. Likewise, Medavie EMS also operates all ground ambulance services in Prince Edward Island through its Island EMS Inc. subsidiary.

From the start of the air ambulance service on May 13, 1996 to December 31, 2003 there were 3,682 LifeFlight missions.

Operations

LifeFlight is a 24-hour, 365 day/year air medical transport service for emergency, neonatal, and inter-hospital transport. Most of the missions are for hospital to hospital transfer where the patient requires advanced medical treatment at another facility, usually at a major referral hospital such as the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre or the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, or the Saint John Regional Hospital in Saint John.

To date, there are 82 helicopter-approved landing zones in Nova Scotia that are Transport Canada certified with additional heliports located throughout Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Most of the time, in the case of a motor vehicle collision, the highway itself is used for landing and take-off. Numerous volunteer fire departments and Department of Natural Resources depots are also used in rural areas of Nova Scotia where rotor clearance permits.

LifeFlight uses one Sikorsky S-76-A helicopter (owned and operated by CHC Helicopter Corporation) as its primary mode of transport and a Beechcraft King Air 200 fixed wing aircraft as its secondary mode of transport.

References

  • official website
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