Whether you need help in an emergency or nonemergent transportation to the hospital in south central Pennsylvania, Penn State Health Life Lion Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Critical Care Transport can help.

Life Lion offers 24/7 EMS and 911 response to numerous municipalities throughout Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, Lebanon, York, Lancaster and Berks counties. 

Our team of more than 400 professionals includes paramedics, emergency medical technicians, nurses, physicians, pilots, dispatchers and mechanics who are highly trained to deliver lifesaving services — including advanced and basic life support — that we deliver to the community. Our team also prepares patients for the level of care they’ll need once they arrive at the hospital.

We serve:

Life Lion EMS Community Paramedicine Program

Life Lion EMS is one of the first in central Pennsylvania to offer a Community Paramedicine Program, in which specially trained paramedics provide in-home care and follow-up monitoring for patients after their hospital discharge. Our team works with primary care physicians to make the transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible. This helps reduce the risk for a return hospital visit. Community paramedic programs nationwide show great success in reducing the impact of disease on various patient populations.

EMS Special Operation

In collaboration with the Penn State College of Medicine EMS Fellowship, Life Lion brings advanced practitioners, emergency medicine physicians, specialized equipment and medications into the community for select 911 calls as needed. This program also supports mass gatherings associated with the Hershey Entertainment Complex, Penn State Athletics including Beaver Stadium events, and other area sporting events in central Pennsylvania.

Tactical EMS

Life Lion EMS paramedics with specialized training in tactical medicine support high-risk law enforcement and homeland security operations conducted by area police departments. Their special training allows them to focus on team occupation health and treat critical injuries should they occur during crisis situations.

Special Response Teams

The Life Lion EMS special response team is trained to treat and transport patients who might have a highly infectious disease or been exposed to a chemical, biological or nuclear agent. This team conducts several drills each year and supports all levels of hospital operations.

For many years Life Lion has also provided highly trained paramedics and physicians who are part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue team, Pennsylvania Task Force 1. These paramedics have been deployed to many disasters across the country including the World Trade Center, hurricanes in the South and several local technical rescue incidents.

Critical Care

In an emergency, minutes matter. Life Lion Critical Care Transport saves precious time while delivering specialized care and treatment for the most critically ill and injured patients. Life Lion operates three medium twin helicopters under CFR Part 135 Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Our advanced aircraft technology and experienced pilots and crew allow the program to safety operate under instrument flight conditions. Two critical care ground ambulances provide a fully functional platform for patients most suited for ground transport. 

Since its inception, the Life Lion Critical Care program has transported more than 40,000 patients, including stroke and cardiac patients, accident and burn victims, infants and others, in urgent need of high-level care. 

Our Critical Care staff members are among the most highly trained clinicians in the nation. They attend countless hours of continuing education and attend advanced clinical rotations so they can provide the same level of critical care in the out-of-hospital environment during transport.

Public appearance requests

The only new events that we can consider at this time are:

  • Landing zone safety presentations for regional fire departments.
  • Hangar tours
  • Ground critical care ambulance events

Please contact us directly for these types of events.

Life Lion Public Relations Request Form

Ride-along observational experience program

NOTICE: The Penn State Health Life Lion ride-along observational program not accepting applicants until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.

Life Lion is pleased to offer qualified local public safety personnel the opportunity to join us as an observer on the Life Lion helicopter or Critical Care ground ambulance. The observer will gain an overview of program operations, safety and patient care capabilities within the critical care transport environment.

The following steps must be completed prior to submitting the Ride-Along Observer Request form:

  • Make sure you have read and fully understand the following Observer Guidelines

Life Lion Critical Care Observer Guidelines  

  • Qualified observers include:  
    • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center staff member who provides direct patient care.   
    • Penn State College of Medicine faculty, staff and students who provide direct patient care. 
    • Regional public safety personnel: active regional paramedics, pre-hospital registered nurses, emergency medical technicians and fire department officers involved in landing zone operations. Participants must complete a Life Lion landing zone safety course within the past year. 

Observers who do not meet the above criteria will be considered for the program at the discretion of the program manager, transport supervisor or designee. Those with relevant emergency medical education will be given priority. 

  • All observers must be at least 21 years old
  • Observers must weigh 225 pounds or less to meet helicopter weight limits.
    • For safety reasons, the observer will be required to submit to a weigh-in upon reporting for their flight or ambulance ride experience.  
  • Observers must be in good physical condition and able to do the following:
    • Climb in and out of the helicopter and ambulance without assistance
    • Secure the required safety belts and devices for transport
    • Walk on uneven terrain 
    • Tolerate weather extremes
  • Pregnant women are NOT permitted to participate as observers because of the potential effects on mother and baby of riding in an unpressurized helicopter cabin and the potential hazards of riding in an emergency vehicle.
  • Observers must be fluent in speaking and understanding English.  
  • Observers must wear professional and weather-appropriate clothing. 
  • All Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and patient privacy guidelines will be enforced. 
    • Observers will be required to sign a liability waiver and privacy rules notice before beginning their experience. 

Print and complete the following forms. These forms and a valid photo ID must be presented on the day of your ride-along.

Additional information:

  • Observers will be scheduled on both weekdays and weekends. 
  • Flights and ambulance rides will take place during daylight hours only: between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Flights and ambulance rides will begin at either the Hershey or Carlisle Life Lion base. 

Ride-Along Observer Request form