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Monitors display live views for Duke University Hospitals’ rooftop helipad and ambulance bay. A large digital map shows real-time location of our ground and air vehicles. Real-time weather information streams in through a satellite feed.

Our communications center is staffed by highly trained, communications specialists who constantly monitor and process all of this information.

Working in 12-hour shifts, they are responsible for:

  • Determining the most appropriate mode of transport to be deployed for the patient
  • Mobilizing the transport teams
  • Coordinating with first responders (EMS personnel) for helicopter scene calls and identifying the nearest and safest landing zone
  • Continuously monitoring weather conditions and relaying updates to the pilots

Our patients and families typically remember only their Duke Life Flight medical team; however, their lives depend just as much on our communications specialists working 24 hours a day, seven days a week behind the scenes.