*UPDATE* Due to the recent expansion of our flight program, the Ride Along Program has been temporarily placed on hold. We strive to provide our ride alongs with as many opportunities to fly as we can, and during orientation of our new crew members, this would not always be possible. We look forward to resuming this program in the near future for our 2018 season. Any updates will be posted here on the website. Thank you for your understanding during this exciting time for our program!
The Gundersen AIR Ride-Along Program allows participants to spend a day with the flight team and become familiar with the principles of helicopter transport and safety.
If you are interested in participating in this program, please review the guidelines below and submit your application.
- Participants must be at least 18 years old and currently active in pre-hospital, emergency work, critical care, nursing or communications specialist.
- Applications will only be accepted when all materials have been received.
- Participation will be on an 'observation basis only' with no involvement with patient care responsibilities. Participants will be under direct supervision of the flight crew and pilot.
- Participants must be in good physical health, be physically fit, have current TB test and hepatitis vaccinations, not prone to motion sickness, or be suffering from a head cold. Due to weight and balance requirements, the weight restriction is 240 pounds.
- Orientation and training will be held on the day of the scheduled ride-along.
- Ride-along shifts will be scheduled from 0800 to 1600 April through June and September through November. Only one participant will be allowed per shift.
- Prior to the beginning of your ride-along shift, contact Gundersen AIR at (608) 775-4773 to confirm the helicopter is available and not grounded due to unforeseen maintenance or inclement weather. If you must cancel you scheduled time, contact us at (608) 775-4773 as soon as possible. If you are unable to ride-along on your assigned date or the helicopter was unavailable for your scheduled shift, it is the participant’s responsibility to reschedule. Rescheduling cannot be guaranteed and will be done on a space available basis. Please make every attempt to keep your scheduled ride-along time.
- All participants are asked to dress appropriately in an EMS uniform or dark pants, work shoes/boots and work shirt (no T-shirts). Absolutely no open-toed shoes/sandals will be permitted per safety standards.
- Photo and video recording is prohibited during all legs of flight and while providing patient care. Photo and video recording is also prohibited while at referring facilities and/or scenes.
- You will accompany the flight team throughout their daily activities. We recommend bringing reading materials or something to work on in the event the flight crew is involved in patient charting, etc.
- Participants must be aware that weight limitations, the need for specialty teams, inclement weather, etc. may prohibit participation on certain flights. This may result in being left at a referring facility due to weight restrictions with a patient on board. If this should occur, Gundersen AIR will make arrangements for transportation back to Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center.
- Participants will be required to pay for their own meals. Food can be purchased at the employee cafeteria, Breaker's Grill, vending area, Adolf's Grill and the 500 Club Bistro. The hangar has a microwave and refrigerator available should you choose to bring your own food. Breaks will be provided as schedule allows. Free parking is provided. Please park in the southern most parking lot beyond the hangar (F-Lot).
- Gundersen AIR is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Please place personal items in a secure location.
- Participants must keep all patient information confidential!
- Riders will refrain from using social media to discuss their ride-along experience. This includes the use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and other such social networking.
- Following completion of the ride-along shift, participants will be asked to complete an evaluation form. We welcome any suggestions you may have.
- Date and time of designated ride-along shift will be confirmed via email from Gundersen AIR staff.
- With safety as top priority, it is advised riders do not work a night shift prior to a scheduled ride-along shift.