Ride Along Program

This program is designed to allow selected groups to observe flight operations and medical care provided by air medical team members.

The observation program is designated primarily for:

  • Pre-screened waitlist applicants as an introduction to the critical care environment
  • Residents, Fellows, and approved department staff (PICU, CVICU) with valid agreements between hospital/agency and MFC
  • Other medical professionals (RNs, EMS, etc.) residing in the Upstate New York region will be considered on a case by case basis

Individuals interested in participating in the program will be provided the Observer Program Application packet by HR. The following criteria must be met for eligible applicants to be considered:

  • Age minimum (18) years of age
  • Weight limit of 230 pounds
  • Health Considerations – The applicant is asked to describe any health issues that may affect their ability to tolerate the air medical environment.

Upon receipt of the Observer Program Application, HR will contact the applicant and schedule an observation date and time.  A confirmation letter will be sent to each applicant and will include:

  • Date and time of observation
  • MFC expectations (HIPAA / privacy, role as an observer only, crew changes requiring leave behind, etc.)
  • Proper attire and footgear
  • Meal considerations
  • Follow-up survey

On the morning of the participant’s scheduled visit, the following must occur prior to being allowed onboard aircraft for transport. At the conclusion of the orientation, the Observer Program Checklist must be returned to HR. In conjunction with the Clinical Supervisor / Clinical Educator, an observation date will be scheduled.

Observer Program Orientation

Adhering to the Observer Program Checklist (OP-02), each department is responsible for covering and signing off for each item:


  • Liability, Medical & Indemnification Release
  • MFC Confidentiality & Privacy
  • HIPAA Review and Acknowledgement
  • Emergency Contact Information Form
  • Uniform Fitting


  • Abbreviated Part 135
    • Observer Weight
    • Sterile Cockpit
    • Watching for other Traffic
    • Emergency Egress Procedures
    • What to do in an Emergency / Procedures


  • Orientation to Cockpit
  • Radio Systems
  • GPS
  • Participation in Shift Briefing
  • Review of Universal Precautions
  • Overview of Medical Equipment
  • Patient Loading & Unloading
  • EMS/Hospital Interaction
  • Approaching the Aircraft
  • Helicopter Utilization
  • Team Configurations & Specialty Team Transports
  • Charting & Follow-up


  • Telephones & Recording System
  • Radio Communications
  • MFC Communication Operations
  • Flight Following
  • Mapping
  • Weather

To submit a request for a Ride Along opportunity, complete the following form:

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