If you are active in a pre-hospital or emergency/critical care field, Gundersen Lutheran MedLink AIR invites you to participate in our Ride-Along program. This 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 complete the directions at the bottom of this page.
Please read the following guidelines carefully. It is important that you understand all of the criteria prior to completing the application.
- Ride-along participants must be at least 18-years-old and currently active in a pre-hospital or emergency/critical care field. Applicants must present a letter from their immediate supervisor (preferably on company letterhead) verifying their current affiliation with an EMS or hospital service.
- Applications will only be accepted when all materials are 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.
- Ride-along participants must be in good physical health, be physically fit, have current TB test and hepatitis vaccinations, not be 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 on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 1 through Oct. 31. Only one participant will be allowed per shift.
- Prior to the beginning of your ride-along shift, contact MedLink 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 your 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.
- Cancellations are rescheduled once and only under extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the MedLink AIR Ride-along coordinator. "No-shows" will not be rescheduled.
- All participants are asked to dress appropriately in 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.
- When the flight crew is not involved with flight duties, time will be spent in Gundersen Lutheran’s Trauma and Emergency Center or other ancillary units. You will accompany the flight team throughout their daily activities, including trauma team activation. We recommend bringing reading material or something to work on in the event the flight crew is involved in patient charting, etc.
- Ride-along 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, MedLink 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, the vending area, Starbuck’s in the Medical Center lobby, and Adolf’s Grill in the basement of the Founder’s building. 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.
- MedLink 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, Myspace, Twitter, YouTube and other such social networking.
- Following completion of the ride-along shift, participants will be asked to complete and return the ride-along evaluation form. Questions and suggestions are welcome.
- In order to accommodate many different agencies, MedLink AIR may find it necessary to defer requests from individuals who have previously participated in the program or live outside of our immediate referral area.
- Date and time of designated ride-along shift will be confirmed via letter from MedLink AIR staff.
- With safety as top priority, it is advised riders do not work a night shift prior to a scheduled ride-along shift.
If you are interested in participating in this program, please review the guidelines above, complete the application/release form and return it with a letter verifying your affiliation as an EMS/ Emergency/Critical Care Provider to:
Kimberly Hable, RN
1900 South Ave., C01-004
La Crosse, WI 54601