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No New Applications Will Be Accepted After April 30, 2013
The Program Will Close June 1, 2013 For The Summer
Ride Along Program Guidelines and Requirements
(Click here to download this as a PDF document)
To sign up for Vanderbilt LifeFlight’s Ride-Along Program offers a learning experience for employees in Emergency Services-related fields. The goal is to demonstrate safe helicopter operations and quality patient care in the field.
We strongly encourage all EMS and hospital emergency departments to sign up for iFly, our program that allows travel with LifeFlight from the field or ER.
Vanderbilt LifeFlight has 5 base locations. We have helicopters in Smyrna, Lebanon, Tullahoma, Clarksville and Mount Pleasant, Tenn.. Our fixed-wing aircraft is based at Nashville International Airport.
The ride-along application will ask for your preferred location. Please select the base that is most appropriate for you. You must report to your selected base, not the hospital. You are responsible for transportation to and from the base.
Students: Students are not allowed to apply for the Ride-Along program.
- You must be a currently licensed EMT, Paramedic, RN, MD, RT, firefighter, 911 operator or law enforcement officer currently working in the emergency medicine/intensive care/EMS field within the LifeFlight service area.
- You must have the ability or authority to activate the request for a helicopter for your agency.
- If you are involved in patient care through emergency medical services or within a hospital system, you may take part in the Ride-Along Program and iFly.
- Firefighters, law enforcement officers and 911 agencies, along with people directly involved in setting up helicopter landing zones, may take part in the Ride-Along program.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- Your supervisor/instructor must submit a completed Ride-Along form confirming the you are actively practicing in a health care or emergency services-related field.
- You must weight less than 250 pounds and have a waist size of less than 44 inches. If you weigh between 200-250 pounds, your participation will be subject to pilot discretion once total crew weight can be considered. Regardless of weight, a Ride-Along participant must be able to fit in the aircraft seatbelts.
- You must be fit, agile and able to exit the aircraft quickly without help. At minimum, you must meet the requirements necessary to sit in an emergency exit aisle on an airliner.
- Vanderbilt employees: For worker’s compensation reasons, all Vanderbilt employees must be on the clock while participating in our Ride-Along program. These hours are to be paid by the candidate’s home department budget. Since these hours may create overtime, the candidate will need approval from their department manager. Click here for an approval form.
- You may participate no more than once every 2 years.
Other Things to Remember:
- If selected, you must complete a Ride-along safety briefing and quiz. Click here to view the Helicopter Ride Along briefing. You must also complete the Operation Tail Watch class. At the end of the online OTW class, you must take this test and submit. You will receive CEUs for this test. Fixed Wing Ride Along participants must also complete a safety briefing.
- The ride-along shift start time varies depending on the base location and concludes at dusk.
- Professional dress is required. EMS, fire, and law enforcement personnel should wear their uniforms. Otherwise, wear black, blue or khaki pants and a solid-colored polo-type shirt that is either black, blue or white. Jeans and scrubs are not allowed. You must also wear a LifeFlight Observer vest.
- Boots are the best footwear for a Ride-Along. Shoes with a non-slip tread and adequate protection are also allowed. Tennis shoes, sneakers, sandals, clogs or open-toe/open-back shoes are not allowed.
- Piercings and jewelry must comply with Vanderbilt's dress code.
- A busy day with LifeFlight may offer little or no time for meals, drinks or snacks. You may also encounter turbulence, vibration, noise and extremes of hot and cold. If you have a medical condition that may make it hard for you to function in these conditions, please explain in the comments section of the application. Vanderbilt LifeFlight reserves the right to request that Ride-Along candidates provide a physician letter granting medical clearance to participate in the program.
Please select one of the following bases to request your ride-along. You will be given the option to select a secondary base in the application:
LF 1 - Lebanon
LF 2 - Tullahoma
LF 3 - Clarksville
LF 4 - Mt. Pleasant
LF 5 - Smyrna (no riders currently accepted)
LF 10 - Nashville (airplane)