Public Relations/Outreach
Landing Zone Classes | Ride-a-long Program

Duke Life Flight

Ride-a-long program





  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Ride along candidates are EMT I or P, police, fire, nurses, doctors, PA’s, and students of those disciplines that are currently practicing. 
  • If you are a student, you must have completed at least 50% of your course of study.  
  • Weight cannot exceed 200 lbs (90kg) to fly. We also offer ride-a-long shifts with our ground units.

What you can expect:

  • When you arrive at our office you’ll be introduced to one of the duty crews.
  • You’ll be involved in the shift brief with the pilot and nurses that compose the crew.
  • Following shift brief, a helmet will be fitted and you'll 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’re unable to attend the shift brief you’ll be ineligible to fly.
  • You must bring a valid drivers license, which will be copied and kept for our records.
  • You must call our Operations Center at 800-362-5433 the morning of your shift to ensure there are no issues that would preclude your ride along. 
  • In the event you will be late, you are expected to call our Operations Center to inform the crew.
  • Bring proof of licensure or if you are a student, transcripts or proof of enrollment.

Ride a long days 

  • Our ride a longs may be scheduled any day of the week.  
  • Only day shifts (0700 – 1900) are offered. 
  • To maximize your experience, shifts are 12 hours, if you can't dedicate that amount of time please do not sign up for a shift. 
  • Ride alongs are not strickly 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’re sure you can make it.
  • Cancelling your ride along day for any reason will result in you being moved to the bottom of the scheduling queue.
  • If you can't attend your day please call our operations center to inform them and email me, no call-no shows will not be rescheduled. 
  • Only one ride along opportunity per rolling calendar year with a maximum of two ride a longs in a five year period.


Proper Attire

  • Prehospital providers: what is appropriate for you work area or polo and cargo pants.
  • Hospital staff:  scrubs or professional attire – no clogs/Danskos.
  • 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 located at Duke hospital, the street address is 2305 Erwin Rd., Durham, NC, 27705.
  • Our office is located on the zero (basement) level of Duke Hospital, room 0652.  To access the zero level use the patient elevators behind the main lobby elevators, walk straight down the hall to the end, take a left then a quick right.  The door is locked, please use the call button to request entry.


  • Parking is available in the deck adjacent to the hospital; the entrance is located on Elba St.  You are responsible for parking fees.


  • You may bring a camera to take pictures during your ride a long.
  • Food is available for purchase in the cafeteria or you may bring your lunch.
  • Bring something to entertain yourself with.
  • For questions not answered by the above information, please contact Matt Sanders at (800) 362-5433 or via email.  Please fill out all required information on our Ride Along Request form to be scheduled for a ride along shift.
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