LifeFlight Air Ambulance Service

UnityPoint Health - Iowa Methodist Medical Center - Emergency Department
Both Life Flight helicopters on roof of Iowa Methodist Medical Center.jpg

LifeFlight Air Ambulance Services

Since 1979 LifeFlight has been providing quality, rapid air transport for critically ill and injured patients. The ability to stabilize and transport patients as quickly as possible is critical, which is why LifeFlight and its crew can be instrumental during life-threatening situations. In addition to providing transport from an emergency scene, LifeFlight also transports between hospitals if a patient is in need of specialized medical or surgical treatment. LifeFlight was the first air ambulance service in central Iowa and since that time has continued to grow and specialize in order to provide the most experienced and specialized care available for our community.

  • Emergency Dispatch: 1-800-987-2862 (9TRAUMA)
  • GPS: N 4135.7 W 9337.9
  • Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Service Area


Program and Features


To improve the health of our community by transporting critically ill and injured patients by air and ground - utilizing evidence-based care in a safe and collaborative design - and by providing education to our patients, their families and community healthcare partners.


LifeFlight is dedicated to providing the best outcome - every patient, every time.

Aviation services are provided by Air Methods, Inc. LifeFlight utilizes EC 135 and EC 145.
On-Board Blood Program

LifeFlight will have available both O negative Packed Red Blood Cells (PRBC's) and AB Plasma, understanding that only a small fraction of our total patient population will require the emergent administration of these products. The recipients of this will have benefits that will be long-lasting.

The purpose for this pursuit was to reduce our reliance on referring facilities, speed the administration of products, and improve patient outcome. In this pursuit, we learned many of our referring hospitals have 0-4 units of O negative blood available any given day. Additionally, they have zero units of Plasma available in the thawed and ready state. The fastest any referring hospital could provide Plasma was approximately 45 minutes, in ideal conditions.

Populations Served

UnityPoint Health LifeFlight transports critically ill or injured adult, pediatric and neonatal patients. Specialty services provided include Nitric Ventilation, Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump, Bariatric and Obstetrics.

Air Medical Transport Utilization

UnityPoint Health LifeFlight will transport to the most appropriate hospital destination based on the clinical needs of the patient and/or determined by the attending physician. Air medical transport is a medical decision, based on information available at the time of transfer. Hospital destination is an independent decision from mode of transport.

American College of Emergency Physicians, suggested guidelines for EMS and regional healthcare systems Air Medical Transport utilization to facilitate proper patient selection and ensure clinical benefit.

Clinical benefit can be provided by:

  • Meaningfully shortening the time of delivery of definitive care to patients with time-sensitive medical conditions.
  • Providing necessary specialized medical expertise and specialty staff to patients before and/or during transport.
  • Providing necessary equipment including High Flow Nasal Cannula, IABP, Nitric, blood products to patients before and/or during transport.
  • Providing transport to patients inaccessible by other means of transport or ground transport time impeded by road conditions/traffic patterns.
  • Air medical transport may serve as a resource during multi-casualty incidents or disasters when patient influx overwhelms local resources.

Educational Opportunities

We offer classes that will strengthen the care provided to patients and enrich the knowledge base of healthcare professionals.

  1. To enhance the care provided to ill or injured patients in central Iowa.
  2. Share cutting edge advances in patient care with healthcare professionals.
  3. Strengthen the relationship between LifeFlight, healthcare facilities and EMS providers in central Iowa.
Classes Offered
  • Agricultural Safety
  • Airway Management
  • Ground Crew
  • Infants and Children
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Pre-Hospital Neonatal Care
  • Patient Assessment
  • Start/JumpStart Triage
  • Trauma/Medical/Behavioral Emergencies
  • Additional classes may be available upon request.
Guidelines for Class Request
  • Classes need to be scheduled a minimum of 4 weeks in advance to allow for CEH/CEU approval.
  • A minimum number of 10 students is required. If this requirement is not met, the class will need to be rescheduled.

Owned and Operated by:

Air Methods Logo.jpg

Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems Logo CAMTS.jpg