LifeFlight's vision for Maine is a place in which every person, in every community, has access to critical care and medical transport when they need it.
Our mission is to transform the critical care transport medicine system into an integrated, high quality, patient-centered system worthy of the public’s trust.
LifeFlight is a nonprofit service that is jointly operated by Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems
and Central Maine Healthcare Corporation
. A steering committee made up of officials from both healthcare systems provides oversight. SevenBar Aviation
of Dallas, TX oversees, operates and maintains LifeFlight of Maine's aviation services.
Maine is the second most rural state by population density in the United States. LifeFlight of Maine helicopters, flying at 165 miles per hour, bring lifesaving equipment and critical care nurses and paramedics to emergency scenes and small, rural hospitals throughout the state. Once stabilized, patients are then transported to one of Maine’s three trauma centers, or the nearest appropriately equipped hospital that is capable of caring for the patient’s individual needs.
LifeFlight’s two helicopters, based in Bangor at Eastern Maine Medical Center
and Lewiston at Central Maine Medical Center
, cover the entire state of Maine and offshore islands. LifeFlight complements and supports the work of local physicians, mid-level providers, nurses and local emergency medical services (EMS) in caring for the critically ill and injured. Both helicopters are staffed by teams of highly qualified critical care transport nurses and paramedics.
There are typically three ways to request LifeFlight's services. Emergency and specialty physicians can call for the LifeFlight of Maine helicopter whenever they believe a patient needs a critical response, including specialty care, state-of-the-art medical equipment and rapid transport from a community hospital to a medical center with trauma capabilities. Local EMS personnel, guided by supervising emergency physicians and Maine EMS protocols, can call for a helicopter to come directly to an accident scene when the patient needs special care and rapid transport to a trauma center. Community physicians can also call LifeFlight to transport a critically ill or injured patient from a remote location, such as an island or peninsula, to a major medical center.
LifeFlight of Maine uses the strictest medical utilization criteria in the country to make sure every flight is medically necessary. Use of a LifeFlight helicopter is a physician-prescribed critical medical service, organized and managed in the same way hospital emergency departments and physicians provide care to all of the people of Maine. When care is provided, the patient and the patient’s insurance company are billed for the service. Just as Maine’s hospitals provide service to all patients in need of care, LifeFlight services are also provided regardless of a patient’s financial resources or ability to pay.
LifeFlight is Maine’s only medical helicopter service and is licensed as a scene response air ambulance allowing a full range of transport services for both interhospital and direct scene support of ground EMS providers. When inclement weather prevents LifeFlight from flying, our highly skilled flight crews are still in action, often headed to community hospitals or accident scenes via ground ambulances provided by Capital Ambulance
in Bangor and United Ambulance
in Lewiston. LifeFlight is fully accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems.