Request a COPS (Ride Along Shift)



Flight For Life’s Clinical Observation Participant Shift (COPS) is available to fire, EMS, law enforcement, dispatch and hospital personnel in our primary service area, who have a minimum of one year of experience and meet the weight limitation.

This is also referred to as an observational ride along program.

Instructions to Request

Complete the form below to request a Clinical Observation Participant Shift (COPS) with us. After this form is received you will be contacted to schedule your shift. Be sure to read the COPS Information – General and Specific to the base you will visit as well as the FFL Confidentiality Agreement.

GENERAL Clinical Observation Participant Shift (COPS) Information

This will be an OBSERVATIONAL experience only. COPS shifts are on designated days/times from September 15 - June 15. The following is General Information which applies to all three bases. Following this document is Specific Information which applies to each base.

FFL Confidentiality Agreement

Requirements of Clinical Observation Participant (COP)

  • Currently working as an: EMT-B, EMT-I, Paramedic, First Responder,  Firefighter, Law Enforcement Officer, 911 Dispatcher, or a HUC/Tech, LPN, RN, or Physician working in an ED, ICU, Cath Lab, or Pediatric Unit
  • Minimum of one year of recent experience
  • Maximum Weight of 200 lbs
  • You must sign a Release of Liability, a Confidentiality Agreement for patient information, and provide emergency contact names and numbers prior to boarding the aircraft. (A PDF of the Confidentiality Agreement will be attached to your confirmation e-mail - please read this document before reporting for your shift.)
  • Not eligible to participate during pregnancy
  • The COPS Program is only available to those customers who work in FFL’s primary service area

What to Bring


  • Copy of medical certificate/license
  • Photo Identification
  • Money (in the event we are out the entire shift)
  • Something to do/read while waiting for a flight (computer access is limited to FFL personnel only/guest WIFI is accessible via your laptop/device). You may bring DVD movies if you wish.
  • Your lunch and/or supper/snack
  • Weapons of any kind, including knives, are prohibited.

What to Wear

  • Please wear your department issued uniform, including any departmental outerwear (e.g. jacket, etc.)
    • Note: Scrubs are only appropriate in warmer weather
  • If you do not belong to an agency that supplies a uniform, please wear similar clothing, such as:
    • Pants: dark pants/cargo type pants (NO JEANS),
    • Shirt: long or short sleeved shirt with collar, turtleneck, or polo-type shirt
    • Shoes: sturdy, hard soled shoes (LEATHER preferable); short boots that support the ankle are preferred
      • NO Gym or Athletic shoes unless they have a minimum of a 1" sole
      • NO Clogs (this includes Nurse's Clogs)
      • NO Sandals of any type
      • NO Slip-on shoes with heels
  • Appropriate outerwear for the season - jacket/coat, hat, gloves (we may be able to supply you with a FFL jacket if we have one in your size)
  • Add additional layers during cold weather shifts (e.g. insulated undergarments)
  • Layered natural fiber underclothing is suggested (e.g. cotton, wool, silk)
  • If you are not wearing suitable attire you will not be able to participate in the COPS shift until that has been corrected.
  • Law Enforcement Officers: Service weapons, knives, and tasers are prohibited when participating as a Ride Along/COPS in this program.


  • Waukesha Base: Once every other year
  • McHenry & Fond du Lac Bases: Once per year
  • If a COP does not show up for their scheduled shift, they will not be eligible to reschedule for one year
  • If FFL cancels the COP or the COP needs to cancel due to a personal or work emergency, they will be allowed to reschedule at their earliest convenience based on shift availability
  • If a COP does not get a flight while on a FFL shift, they must wait six months and then may reapply one time only (please complete the online form)
  • Paramedic students who are doing a shift as part of their class and do not get a flight may reschedule at the end of their shift

Transports that may Prohibit the COP from Going on a Flight

  • IABP (Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump) flights
  • Specialty Transport Team Flights (e.g. Children’s team, Organ Procurement Team)
  • Crew discretion related to weight & balance, or operational/safety issues

Specific Waukesha Base Information

You will receive a safety briefing from the flight crew and will be fitted with a helmet. If a flight request comes in before your briefing is completed, you may not be able to go.

Clinical Observation Participant Shift Days and Times:

  • Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • 10 am – 10 pm
  • Must be present at the beginning of your scheduled shift and stay for a minimum of six hours

Important Information:

Please call our Communication Center at (414) 778-3466 two hours prior to the start of your shift to check our flight status, as we may not be flying due to weather or maintenance.

Our hangar is located at Waukesha County Airport/Crites Field. It is the last building on the right on Aviation Road. Our address is 2661 Aviation Road, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53188

Specific McHenry Base Information

Must be present for mandatory crew safety briefing and fitting of helmet. If a flight request comes in before your briefing is completed, you may not be able to go.

Clinical Observation Participant Shift Days and Times:

  • Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
  • Days: 7 am to 3 pm
  • Nights: 3 pm to 11 pm (NOTE: Call our Flight Communication Center at (414) 778-3466 if you arrive and the helicopter is not in quarters.)
  • Must be present at the beginning of your scheduled shift and stay for a minimum of six hours

Important Information:

Please call the Flight Office at (815) 759-1620 two hours prior to the start of your shift to check our flight status, as we may not be flying due to weather or maintenance. If no answer we may be on a flight and you can contact our Communication Center at (414) 778-3466.

Our hangar is located on the south side of Centegra Hospital - McHenry in a separate building, directly across the street from the Sage Cancer Center parking lot. Our address is 4201 Medical Center Drive, McHenry, Illinois 60050

Complete Form Below

Please only click the submit button ONCE when you have completed the form.

NOTE: If you have not been contacted within 3 days of submitting your request, please call (414) 778-5435.