Who Are We

OSF Life Flight is a 24-hour helicopter air-medical transport system, which has been in service since June 1984. The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis have led the way in air-medical transport helicopter service in Illinois, and OSF Life Flight continues to be one of the premier flight programs in the United States. The very first helicopter transport involving OSF Saint Francis Medical Center was the transfer of a neonatal infant in January 10, 1967 from Zion, Illinois. Since that time, OSF Life Flight has transported more than 21,000 patients within a 150-mile radius of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. Not only can we boast a perfect safety record, our average response time from activation of a transfer request to airborne is eight minutes. More than 93% of all transports are interfacility transfers between medical facilities, with approximately 7% of the transports being accident scene response requests.

OSF Life Flight is the busiest air medical program in the State of Illinois, averaging over 1,700 air transports per year. We operate two, state of the art, single pilot, IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) rated, twin engine, model Bell 230 aircraft capable of transporting one patient and three crew members. Each aircraft is powered by two Allison C30 engines, which allow cruising speeds reaching 150 mph, and a range of 300 miles without refueling. These IFR equipped aircraft enable us to safely fly with the lowest weather minimums allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration. A state of the art cockpit and a transport cabin equipped with a full line of medical equipment contributes to OSF Life Flight's ability to bring the latest technology to the critically ill or injured patient. On-site, 24 hours a day maintenance support is available for all major or minor maintenance requirements.

The real strength of OSF Life Flight, however, is in our teams! Our transport team is composed of critical care registered nurses, paramedics, physicians, and respiratory therapists who provide the backbone of the team's medical care. Our primary crew configuration for most transports is comprised of two registered nurses or a registered nurse and paramedic team. As part of their formal training, Emergency medicine resident physicians accompany the team, learning and experiencing first-hand the unique challenges of the pre-hospital and unstable air environment. Specialty teams for high risk maternal and neonatal transports are utilized and accompany the core OSF Life Flight team on these types of transport requests. The foundation of our service always has been, and will continue to be, providing excellence in patient care and support of the Mission of OSF. With more than 100 hours of continuing education courses and skills labs per crewmember per year, our teams provide proficient cutting-edge clinical care to neonatal, pediatric and adult patients during the transport phase of care. We receive extensive training in emergency surgical skills, advanced ventilation techniques and difficult airway management.