Welcome to LifeFlight 2024!

This story appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of Dispatches.

Dear Friends,

An age-old tradition as the clock strikes midnight on the morning of January 1 is to think of resolutions, like improving our health, doing good for others, or seeing a new corner of the world. At LifeFlight of Maine, we made some resolutions for the year ahead that we want to share with you.

Our first resolution is to continue to expand access to critical care medicine and transport for patients across the State of Maine. This includes establishing new remote landing zones, further enhancing the already sophisticated technology in our aircraft that allows us to fly in adverse weather conditions, developing new instrument navigation routes in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and so much more. We are harnessing the expertise and creativity of our team and leveraging innovations in aviation technology to bring our mobile ICUs to as many patients as possible.

Our second resolution is to make sure we “care for the caregivers.” We are establishing new support programs for our crew to ensure there is a strong system built around them with the services they need. Our teams care deeply for our patients and patients’ loved ones with whom they interact every single day. We are all human, and the situations our crew members experience can be difficult to process and carry. We are working to develop a peer support and behavioral health program that we hope will become a model for crew support in EMS services across the state and nation.

Our third resolution is to deepen our connections with our partners along the chain of survival, as well as those patients entrusted to our care. We are substantially increasing our efforts to strengthen partnerships with hospitals, EMS, fire, and other public safety services, so that our patients receive seamless, professional, and high-quality care at every step. And once our role in their care is finished, we are working harder to stay connected. It is so meaningful for our teams to meet their patients again on a better day, and we are working to provide several opportunities to reconnect and harness the power of hope and healing.

In the opening of this letter, we used the phrase “critical care medicine and transport.” That “and” is important. LifeFlight is well-known for its helicopters, airplane, and now ground ambulances. What many don’t know is that LifeFlight does so much more. Clinically, we are equipped to support our community hospitals that may become overwhelmed, even if we do not transport a patient out of their facility. This role for LifeFlight was tragically highlighted in the events that unfolded in Lewiston last October. LifeFlight also offers ongoing critical care education for providers through its critical care academy and “Pediatrics on the Edge” courses. We are expanding our research efforts, solidifying our place as a leader in critical care medicine. While the vehicles are a key part of the transport process, the high-level critical care medicine that our team provides is what makes us unique, and proud.

On behalf of all of us at LifeFlight, we hope you enjoy reading the stories in this issue of Dispatches, and we wish you a safe and healthy 2024. No one wakes up in the morning expecting to become a LifeFlight patient, but in an emergency, we promise to do everything possible to be there when you need us.


Joe Kellner
CEO, LifeFlight of Maine

Kate O’Halloran
Executive Director, The LifeFlight Foundation