They operate in the most stressful of situations, sometimes in the least ideal conditions, and every once in a while, something doesn't go as planned.

That was the case this weekend when a LifeFlight crew went to assist EMS crews in Washington County at the scene of an early morning accident Monday. While working with the East Machias Fire and Rescue, Machias Fire and Rescue, Machias EMS, and the Washington County Sheriff's office,  a mishap occurred between the helicopter and a local ambulance.

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According to a statement put out by Thomas Judge LifeFlight's executive director on the LifeFlight of Maine Facebook Page, the accident happened when the ambulance made "inadvertent contact" with the main rotor blade of their N901EM helicopter.

"The aircraft was on the ground and not running. In the middle of the night, the lighting was not the best. Out of an abundance of caution, LifeFlight’s partners at SevenBar Aviation and Leonardo Helicopters performed an extensive and detailed engineering analysis to be certain there were no other components damaged."

The helicopter remained in Washington County for the better part of the week, until getting the all-clear to be flown back to Bangor.

Judge said despite the incident, without skipping a beat, patients at the scene were treated by local EMS and LifeFlight crewmembers and transported to the hospital by a different LifeFlight Helicopter.

He said the important takeaway has less to do with the accident between the helicopter and ambulance, and more to do with how well everyone worked together, even in the face of mounting challenges.

"The professionalism they exhibited and the care they provided for all the patients involved in the accident are the most important pieces of this story."

The N901EM will make its way back to Bangor today, and be put back into the rotation, helping patients in need across the state of Maine.

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