Ride Along Program

Canandaigua, New York, United States

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 to 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 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 a 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

Follow-up correspondence will be sent by HR after the participant visit requesting completion of an online survey. Survey results will be compiled and shared with the operational team.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Flight Central provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.