About Us

EMS Life Flight helicopter being loadedOSF Life Flight is a 24-hour helicopter air-medical transport system, based in Bloomington, Galesburg and Peru, Illinois, which has been in service since June 1984.

OSF HealthCare leads the way in air-ambulance service in Illinois and continues to be one of the premier flight programs in the United States. We provide safe, fast, critical-care transport for our patients along with maintaining a perfect safety record.

Central Illinois patient helicopter transportation began on January 10, 1967, when the first helicopter transport involving OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center was the transfer of a neonatal infant from Zion, Illinois. The transfer was historic for the community. The infant was transported in a helicopter owned by the Peoria Journal Star Newspaper. The Peoria Journal Star continued to transfer patients into the early 1970s. But with the increase of patient transfer requests, the Illinois Department of Transportation assumed the transport role through 1984. In June 1984, OSF Life Flight officially formalized.

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How OSF Life Flight Works

OSF EMS Life Flight pilot looking out of cockpitAn OSF Life Flight may be requested by physicians, hospital personnel, emergency medical services, fire personnel, police, emergency management agencies and 911 dispatch centers.

The toll-free emergency dispatch number is 855-OSF-FLYT. It is answered 24 hours a day by nationally certified flight communication specialists with EMS experience 24 hours a day.

Our OSF Life Flight communications center is located in Peoria, Illinois.

Our Commitment to Safety

OSF Life Flight also offers free education and training opportunities to our EMS, fire and hospital colleagues. As part of this commitment, we can provide our helicopter for certain training and outreach events with the goal of maximizing safety in scene operations and helicopter utilization.

The helicopter is typically flown out in conjunction with our Helicopter Landing Zone Management and Safety Course, as well as some other OSF Life Flight educational offerings.