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Ride-Along request form

GundersenAIR ride along program is open during the months of April, May, June, September, and October.

The ride-along program allows participants to spend a day with the flight team and become familiar with the principles of helicopter transport and safety. You must be at least 18 years old and currently active in pre-hospital, emergency work, critical care, nursing or medical/emergency communications specialist. If you are interested in participating in this program, review the guidelines and submit your application.


  1. Participants must be at least 18 years old and currently active in pre-hospital, emergency work, critical care, nursing or communications specialist. Students planning to enter a related healthcare field may also be considered on a case by case basis.
  2. Applications will only be accepted when all materials have been received. Due to high demand, ride-alongs who have had the occasion to fly, either on a patient mission, (including aborted missions), or PR flights will not be eligible for another ride-along opportunity for a period of five years.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 220 pounds.
  5. Orientation and training will be held on the day of the scheduled ride-along.
  6. Ride-along shifts are scheduled to start at 0830.
  7. Ride-along shifts will only be scheduled during the months of April, Mary, June, September and October. Only one participant will be allowed per shift.
  8. Prior to the beginning of your ride-along shift, the approved applicant will be advised to contact GundersenAIR at (608) 269-2296 for (Sparta) or (608) 775-5870 (Decorah) to confirm the helicopter is available and not grounded due to unforeseen maintenance or inclement weather. If the approved applicant must cancel or the helicopter was unavailable for the scheduled shift, it is the participant's responsibility to attempt re-scheduling. Rescheduling cannot be guaranteed and will be done on a space available basis. 
  9. All participants are asked to dress appropriately in EMS uniform (clean and professional) or non-denim dark pants, work shoes/boots and a work shirt (no scrubs). Absolutely no open toe shoes/sandals will be permitted per safety standards. A radio headset and safety glasses will also be provided.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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, GundersenAIR will make arrangements for transportation back to the Sparta or Decorah base.
  13. Participants should bring a sack lunch, as there are no eating facilities nearby. The hangar has a microwave and refrigerator available. Breaks will be provided as schedule allows.
  14. GundersenAIR is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Please place personal items in a secure location.
  15. Participants must keep all patient information confidential!
  16. Participants will refrain from using social media to discuss their ride-along experience. This includes the use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and other such social networking.
  17. Following completion of the ride-along shift, participants will be asked to complete an evaluation form. We welcome any suggestions you may have.
  18. Date and time of designated ride-along shift will be confirmed via email from GundersenAIR staff.
  19. With safety as top priority, it is advised riders not work a night shift prior to a scheduled ride-along shift.

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

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