Skip to main content


Duke Life Flight offers a ride along option for interested students, physicians, nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists, pre-hospital providers, police or firefighters. Please review requirements and expectations for the program below.

We attempt to honor every request for our ride-a-long program, but unfortunately, due to high volume are sometimes unable to do so. If you would like to request a ride-a-long we require a minimum of 7 days notice, and the following information:

  • Date Requested
  • Name, Age, height & Weight of Participant
  • Proof of Covid-19 vaccination
  • Photo ID
  • Brief statement stating why you want to ride along with our team.


  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Weight cannot exceed 200 lbs (90kg) to fly. We also offer ride-a-long shifts with our ground units.
  • Covid-19 Vaccination

What you can expect:

  • When you arrive at our office you will be introduced to one of the duty crews.
  • You’ll be involved in the shift brief with the pilot and critical care providers that compose the crew.
  • Following the shift brief, a helmet will be fitted and you will receive your helicopter safety instruction.
  • Your experience may also include transports by ground depending on the requests received during your shift.

What’s expected of you

  • Be on time for your shift; if you are unable to attend the shift brief you will be ineligible to fly.
  • You must bring a valid driver’s license, which will be copied and kept for our records.
  • You must call our Operations Center at 800-362-5433 or 919-681-5433 the morning of your shift to ensure there are no issues that would preclude your ride-a-long. 
  • In the event you will be late, you are expected to call our Operations Center to inform the crew.

Ride-a-long days

  • Our ride-a-longs may be scheduled any day of the week.  
  • Only day shifts (0700 – 1500 Henderson Base) or (0800-1600 Smithfield Base) are offered. 
  • To maximize your experience, shifts are 12 hours, if you can not dedicate that amount of time please do not sign up for a shift. 
  • Ride-a-longs are not strictly limited to the aircraft, on poor weather days the ground units will be utilized.


  • Fill out the application at the bottom of this page after reviewing all information; incomplete applications will not be processed.
  • Due to the demand for spots, scheduling is often done a month or more ahead of the current date and preference given to local providers.  
  • Ride a long candidates will not be rescheduled more than one time, please do not choose a date unless you are sure you can make it.
  • Canceling your ride-a-long day for any reason will result in you being moved to the bottom of the scheduling queue.
  • If you cannot attend your day please call our operations center (1-800-362-5433 or 919-681-5433)  to inform them no call-no shows will not be rescheduled. 
  • Only one ride-a-long opportunity per rolling calendar year with a maximum of two ride-a-longs in a five year period.

Proper Attire

  • Pre-hospital providers: what is appropriate for your work area or polo and cargo pants.
  • Hospital staff:  scrubs or professional attire – no clogs/Danskos.
  • Closed-toe shoes. 
  • Consider the weather conditions and dress appropriately.
  • Failure to wear the proper attire will result in the cancellation of your shift.


  • Ride-a-longs are scheduled on the day shift aircraft. They can be scheduled at the Henderson base or the Smithfield base. For ground shifts they can be at the Smithfield base or Durham base. 
  • The Durham base is located at 100 Golden Dr Durham, NC. 
  • The Henderson base is located at Maria Parham Hospital at 566 Ruin Creek Road in Henderson, NC. 
  • The Smithfield base in located at Johnston Regional Airport at 3223 Swift Creek Rd, Smithfield, NC 27577. The Life Flight hangar has an entrance to the right with blue awning as you walk up the concrete stairs between the two hangars. You will most likely see Duke Life Flight ambulances parked directly in front of the Life Flight hangar. 


  • Durham base ride-a-longs: Parking is available right outside the office at Golden Dr.
  • Henderson base ride-a-longs: Parking is available near the helipad in the rear of hospital. 
  • Smithfield base ride-a-longs: Park in lot in front of hangar. No fees or parking passes are required. 
  • There are no fees for parking at any of the bases.  


  • You may bring a camera to take pictures during your ride-a-long.
  • Food is available for purchase in the cafeteria (Durham base) or you may bring your lunch. You will need to pack a lunch if flying at the Smithfield base.
  • Bring something to entertain yourself.

    For questions not answered by the above information, please contact the Duke Life Flight office at 1-(800)-362-5433 or (919)-681-5433.  Participants will be required to sign a waiver of liability form prior to participating in the ride-a-long program. 


Ride-Along Screening Form


Image removed.