Parkview Health Logo

Samaritan Medical Transport

Samaritan Logo

Since November 18, 1989, the men and women of Parkview Samaritan have transported (by air and ground) more than 35,000 patients in need of emergency care. Teamwork with first responders across the region – and Parkview EMS, Emergency Department and other clinical and non-clinical staff members – has always been key to making sure these patients receive the most appropriate care for their injuries or medical conditions as soon as possible.  We’re proud to serve the region with these dedicated partners! 

Samaritan’s two medical helicopters, Mobile ICU and Critical Care Transport are always at the ready.

When lives hang in the balance, Parkview Samaritan Medical Transport is there

Patient being loaded into chopper

When the unthinkable happens, you need cool heads, speed and experience on your side. That’s where the Parkview Samaritan Medical Transport crews, trained in advanced life support (ALS), come in. We respond to trauma scenes across the region to provide emergency care and rapid transportation to medical facilities for critically ill or injured patients.

These scenes could involve:

  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Farming accidents
  • House fires
  • Water-related accidents
  • Acute stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Newborn distress

When you see the Samaritan helicopter overhead, or the Mobile ICU (Mobile Intensive Care Unit) travelling the roads with lights flashing, you know moments count. And Samaritan medical professionals are on the job.

Parkview Samaritan works in conjunction with numerous specialized services, including:

Samaritan Flight Program

Parkview has two Samaritan medical helicopters that operate from bases in Fort Wayne (Samaritan 1) and Rochester, Ind. (Samaritan 2). The Fort Wayne base is located at Parkview Regional Medical Center on the north side of the city. Both helicopters are called into action by Parkview Logistics Center located on the Parkview Hospital Randallia campus.

Serving patients across the region

  • Since the Samaritan Flight Program began in 1989, its helicopter crews have flown more than 24,000 patients who needed critical medical assistance.
  • Samaritan’s service area is a 100-mile radius of Fort Wayne and Rochester, covering the northern half of Indiana, northwest Ohio and southwest Michigan.
  • Each helicopter is equipped to fly 200 miles one way, if necessary.
  • On average, Samaritan leaves the helipad 5.6 minutes from the time a call is received by dispatch.
  • Samaritan 1 averages two flights per day, and Samaritan 2 averages one and a half.
  • About 51 percent of Samaritan flights are trauma-related; 40 percent of these flights are to pick up patients from the scene of injury, and 60 percent are to pick up from facilities referring patients to Parkview Regional Medical Center.

Because of the affiliation between Samaritan and the Parkview Trauma Centers, the region’s first verified Level II adult and pediatric trauma centers, transportation and medical care can often begin sooner for critically ill patients who are transported to the medical center. To support the trauma program, Parkview has medical specialists available around the clock.

About the aircraft

  • Model: French-made American Eurocopter 365 N-2 Dauphin models with twin turbine engines
  • Average flight speed: 180 mph
  • Fuel: Each helicopter has five fuel tanks, so it can fly up to three hours on Jet A fuel.
  • Number of patients: The aircraft is configured to carry two adult critical-care patients. A special isolette is used to transport infants.
  • Each aircraft carries an oxygen supply, fluids, dressings, medications and two cardiac monitors, as well as other medical equipment that may be required to tend to a critical patient’s needs during flight.

About the crew

  • Each flight carries a crew of three: a pilot, a nurse and a paramedic. When newborns are to be transported, a special neonate team – including one neonatal RN and one respiratory therapist – accompanies the infant to provide specialized care.
  • Samaritan Flight Program has medical flight personnel who serve on the helicopters. You can recognize them by the Samaritan patch on their flight uniforms. The flight suits are made of special material to help protect the crew member in case of an emergency.
  • Crew members work 12-hour shifts. When they’re on duty, they await calls in their quarters at the helicopter base. In much the same way as firefighters, they take care of daily tasks until it’s time to grab their gear, head to the helipad and take off to do what they do best – respond safely to an emergency at a moment’s notice. 

Responding to a call

  • When Samaritan heads to the scene of an emergency, the crew communicates via radio with firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel already on hand. First responders across the region work with Samaritan and are trained to prepare a safe landing zone. They also help keep the area safe for the patient, the crew and members of the community.
  • Parkview Samaritan is an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)-certified program. IFR certification means the helicopters can fly by instrument guides in certain types of weather for which flight may not be allowed by Visual Flight Rules, or VFR. This IFR certification allows for safer transfers for the patients and crews.
  • Weather is a factor in Samaritan’s flight activity. Summer months are the most active due to motor vehicle injuries and water sports.

Other important information

Operation of the FAA Part-135 is provided by Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio. Parkview Health owns the aircraft, but the pilots and mechanics who work on and operate the aircraft are employed by the certificate holder. This allows for strict FAA observation of the safe operations of Parkview Samaritan.

Who can summon Samaritan

Physicians, nurses, emergency medical services personnel, police and fire officials, and industrial safety personnel are authorized to summon the Samaritan helicopters.

Are you in one of these categories? Learn when it’s appropriate to call for Samaritan.

Samaritan Ground Transport

Image of ambulance

Samaritan Ground Transport includes six vehicles that also wear the green-and-white paint scheme of Samaritan:

  • The Mobile ICU (Intensive Care Unit)
  • The Critical Care Transport

The Mobile ICU was introduced in fall 2010 to complement medical flight service. Like the helicopters, the Mobile ICU carries equipment that could be needed for patients’ critical needs en route to the hospital. Based at Parkview Regional Medical Center, the Mobile ICU is staffed 24/7 with a critical care registered nurse, a paramedic and an EMT driver. This highly skilled crew has the same advanced life support (ALS) training as the Samaritan flight team.

The Critical Care Transport is an ALS-certified ambulance that provides rapid transport of critical patients between Parkview Hospital Randallia and Parkview Regional Medical Center.

Since ground transport began, Samaritan crews have assisted more than 15,000 patients.

History of the Samaritan Medical Transport Program

  • November 1989 – Parkview Hospital began the Samaritan Flight Program to provide rapid transport for trauma, critically ill, cardiac and neonatal patients.
  • February 1999 – Samaritan 2 was added, based in Rochester, Ind.
  • 2010 – The Mobile ICU was introduced to complement the robust medical flight program.
  • 2012 – Samaritan’s Fort Wayne base moved from Parkview Hospital to the Parkview Regional Medical Center, which opened in March. Samaritan continues to use the helipad in transporting patients from Parkview Hospital Randallia. 
  • 2016-2021 – Parkview Samaritan air and ground transport receive accreditation by Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems.