One of the most differentiating factors of IU Health LifeLine is the skill and expertise of our entire team. From pilots to critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, paramedics and EMTs, IU Health LifeLine is staffed with experts in the field.
Eight rotating teams keep IU Health LifeLine operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We have adult and a pediatric/neonatal teams on call at all times. The critical care transport teams include a pilot, EMT or a paramedic, a critical care nurse and a clinician specialist. Depending on the patient’s condition, the clinician specialist present for each specialty transport could be either a neonatal nurse practitioner or a labor and delivery nurse.
The heartbeat of IU Health LifeLine is the IU Health 24/7 Transfer Center and the IU Health LifeLine Communications Center. Staffed by experienced critical care nurses, the IU Health 24/7 Transfer Center coordinates all aspects of a patient’s transfer, including transport, admission and bed placement. In a single call, physicians can request IU Health LifeLine, transfer medical records and speak to the receiving physician and start transport. Learn more about the many ways the IU Health 24/7 Transfer Center benefits physicians.
The critical care transport system at IU Health dates back to 1920 when doctors and nurses rode trains from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to treat critically ill patients. In July of 1979, IU Health LifeLine became the first air medical program in the state of Indiana, flying its first mission with a single EMS helicopter out of Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital. Since 1979, IU Health LifeLine has become the largest medical transport program in the state of Indiana and one of the largest hospital-based programs in the nation.
In 2004, IU Health LifeLine merged with the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health pediatric transport team to become a full-service critical care transport program. This merger maximized our resources to improve patient care and outcomes.
Through the years, IU Health LifeLine has evolved into a fleet of six helicopters and seven Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) and a fixed wing aircraft. Five bases are strategically located throughout the state of Indiana to serve a wide coverage area. The robust capabilities of our fleet give IU Health LifeLine several advantages:
- Instrument flight ratings allow us to fly when others cannot
- Ground capabilities allow us to complete transports when inclement weather prevents flying
- Multiple modes of transportation allow for additional transports during busy times
- A dedicated back up aircraft and Mobile Intensive Care Unit ensures our ability to serve patients in need
We are proud to partner with local Indianapolis organizations to provide dedicated critical care transport and aircraft services on-scene for events.