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Updated 12:00 PM February 2, 2004



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Survival Flight now lifting off from Livingston County base

Ten minutes at 150 m.p.h.—that's how fast Livingston County residents now can count on getting to one of the best hospitals in the country in an emergency medical situation via one of the nation's top air ambulance programs.

One of Survival Flight's three twin-engine Bell 430 helicopters is stationed at the new base in Livingston County. The helicopters travel at an average speed of 150 m.p.h. Survival Flight has flown more than 25,000 safe patient transports, averaging 1,400 missions annually. In all, Survival Flight has flown 3,270,640 miles during the past 20 years (via fixed-wing jet and helicopter), which is equal to traveling the distance from the moon to the Earth 13.7 times. (Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

With the opening of a new base of operation at Livingston County Airport in January, Survival Flight—U-M Health System's (UMHS) air medical transport service—is able to meet the needs of the growing patient community surrounding the Ann Arbor area even faster.

"Livingston County is an area where Survival Flight's services are needed the most, so we want to ensure that every member of this community has rapid access to advanced critical care and air medical transportation," says Dr. Mark Lowell, Survival Flight medical director and clinical assistant professor in the Medical School's Department of Emergency Medicine. "This new base will allow us to meet all service requests in the county with increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness—which is something we've prided ourselves on for the past 20 years."

At its new Livingston County base, Survival Flight will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as it does at its main base at UMHS in Ann Arbor. A full expert medical flight crew, including flight nurses and pilots, will be posted at the Livingston County base regularly to respond to calls as quickly as possible.

The helicopter stationed at the Livingston County base, one of Survival Flight's three twin-engine Bell 430 helicopters, is a mobile trauma center and intensive care unit complete with state-of-the-art lifesaving technology and the latest navigational equipment that allows it to fly safely in all types of weather situations. The 1400 H.P. helicopters average a speed of 150 m.p.h., which makes it possible for Survival Flight to transport patients from any area of Livingston County to any local hospital, including U-M hospitals, in a matter of minutes.

Survival Flight, Michigan's first hospital-based helicopter service, has flown more than 25,000 safe patient transports, averaging 1,400 missions annually.

Its expert flight nurses are specially trained to handle critically ill and injured patients and the equipment needed to keep them alive. Survival Flight's 50-member crew also includes physicians, communications specialists, pilots and mechanics.

To learn more about Survival Flight, visit

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