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For 35 years, Airlift Northwest – part of the UW Medicine system — has made Northwesterners rest a little easier knowing that if they are critically ill or injured, there’s a local air medical transport company that can rapidly get them to help.

The residents of the Olympic Peninsula are no exception, and now they have a new Airlift Northwest base to celebrate. The 24/7 base opened at the Bremerton National Airport on December 11, and expands Airlift Northwest’s services on the peninsula and surrounding communities. It joins six other Airlift Northwest bases in Seattle, Arlington, Bellingham, Olympia, Yakima and Juneau, Alaska.

“Growing populations on the Olympic Peninsula and increasing traffic congestion heighten the need for air medical transport for emergent and critical patients,” says Chris Martin, Airlift Northwest executive director. “We’ll be available 24/7. We’re looking forward to joining the Bremerton community and working closely with first responders there.”

“This is a great addition to our airport and industrial park facilities,” said Jim Rothlin, chief executive officer, Port of Bremerton. “We were very happy to find this perfect location for Airlift and provide the facilities that they needed to carry out their operations.”

In trauma situations, timing is crucial. In coordination with local first responders and hospitals, Airlift Northwest helicopters and planes can get sick patients to the best destinations for their medical conditions, often within minutes.

Airlift Northwest’s Augusta A109E helicopter, which is called “Airlift 2” and can travel 150 mph, was previously based at Boeing Field in Seattle, but has now moved to its new home at the Bremerton base. Two other aircraft will remain based at Boeing Field in Seattle, including a Learjet and a new Pilatus PC-12 turboprop, which is expected in early 2018.

Pilot Neal Jacob stands next to Airlift 2 while talking to a KING-5 television crew at the base opening.


pilot Neal Jacob and the Augusta A109E helicopter

Airlift Northwest’s aircraft act as flying intensive care units. In fact, blood and plasma products are available on all Airlift Northwest aircraft, allowing flight nurses to save precious time and lives while patients are en route to the hospital.

Airlift Northwest is planning an open house sometime in the spring to allow members of the community to meet the staff, get an up-close look at the aircraft and tour the base.

For more information about Airlift Northwest, visit


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