Lifeline Ambulance

Caring and compassion isn't our's our way of life.
=Images= | Lifeline AmbulanceOSF Lifeline Ambulance, a division of OSF Healthcare, is dedicated to providing quality pre-hospital care to the residents of Winnebago and Boone counties. Lifeline Ambulance provides contracted 911 services for the North Park Fire Protection District in Machesney Park, Illinois, and the City of Belvidere in addition to having ambulances stationed in  Rockford and Loves Park. We also provide contracted service to Boone County Fire Protection District II.  As part of the triad that forms the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Trauma and Emergency Services, Lifeline Ambulance is there when you need us.


Critical Care Transport Team

In October of 2010, OSF Lifeline Ambulance introduced the OSF Critical Care Transport Team.  Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, the Critical Care Team provides the highest level of care for patients, whether transported by OSF Lifeline Ambulance or OSF Lifeline Helicopter. 

The OSF Saint Anthony ground critical care service is used to transport critical patients from small, rural hospitals to facilities with specialty services, as well as to take patients between Rockford hospitals or from Rockford to larger facilities in Chicago or Madison, Wis. The service is available to 14 hospitals in the 10-county area served by Lifeline.

The critical care transport team provides such advanced care techniques as setting up, calibrating and recording pressures for arterial lines, pulmonary arterial catheters and central venous catheters; drawing blood from an arterial line; providing 12-lead monitoring and interpretation; caring for patients who require a ventilator, CPAP or Bi-PAP; and providing patients with temporary pacemakers. 

This level of critical care service offers many advantages, particularly with providing service to outlying rural hospitals that may not have the intensive care specialists some patients need.  Another benefit is that hospitals no longer need to send a nurse along to monitor each patient. Ambulance crew members in the program are trained in life-saving procedures usually not provided in an ambulance, such as operating intravenous pumps or administering the amount of medications the critical care service can handle.

 Eleven OSF paramedics trained for the program through a University of Maryland critical care EMT paramedic course and passed a national certification test. “We augmented that training with clinical experiences,” said Dr.  Jane Pearson, medical director for OSF Saint Anthony Emergency Medical Services. “They’ve gone through countless hours in the intensive care units at OSF Saint Anthony and at OSF Saint Francis in Peoria doing pediatric advanced skills and in the operating room doing airway skills.”

The critical care team members went through more than 90 hours of training geared towards critical care. In many ways, the OSF Lifeline Critical Care Transport program provides an intensive care unit on wheels.

OSF Lifeline Ambulance provides both emergency and non-emergency transports, serving the multiple needs of the residents of our area. We work with all fire protection districts and can transport to any area hospital. Each unit is equipped with 12-lead EKG capabilities which allow transmission from the ambulance directly to the Emergency Department at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, which saves precious time if a patient is experiencing a cardiac event.

Our licensed Emergency Medical Technicians - Paramedic (EMT-P) and Emergency Medical Technicians - Basic (EMT-B) staff provide Advanced Life Support (ALS).

We hope you never need our services, but if and when you do, isn't it good to know we are here?

Our Mission

Lifeline ambulance provides immediate, on-scene patient care to those suffering sudden illness or injury. The primary responsibility of our service is to preserve life, relieve suffering, and promote health.

Our Services

Advanced Life Support:

ALS, or Advanced Life Support, includes Basic Life Support service in addition to advanced emergency care provided by qualified Emergency Medical Technicians - Paramedic. The services performed by ALS personnel include:

  • Intravenous Therapy
  • Cardiac Monitor (EKG)
  • Cardiac Defibrillator
  • Drug Administration
  • Endotracheal Airway
  • Relief of Pneumothorax
  • Other Invasive Procedures

Basic Life Support:

BLS, or Basic Life Support, includes non-invasive healthcare procedures and transportation provided by Emergency Medical Technicians - Basic.
Services can include:

  • Patient Assessment
  • First Aid
  • Oxygen Therapy
  • Bleeding Control
  • Fracture Management
  • Treatment for Shock

How do I call for an Ambulance?

We are ready to serve you, 24 hours a day. In the event of an emergency, please call 911.

OSF Lifeline Ambulance, L.L.C.
318 Roxbury Road
Rockford, Illinois 61107-509


Lifeline Helicopter

The Lifeline Emergency Helicopter, the first hospital-based helicopter service in Illinois, began transporting patients in the summer of 1981.  Begun as a cooperative effort with the State of Illinois, Lifeline became an independent hospital-based service and was officially dedicated November 19, 1981, at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center.  At that time, it was one of only 13 hospital-based emergency helicopter services in the nation.

 Lifeline transports critically ill or injured patients to hospitals where they can receive a higher level of care than that which can be provided locally. Lifeline responds to accident scenes to transport severely injured patients and also transports critically ill patients from community hospitals.  Since 1981, Lifeline has flown more than 23,000 flights, serving patients from 11 northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin counties. In addition to transporting patients, Lifeline has also transported organ transplant teams, flown antidotes to the Chicago area for victims poisoned in the Tylenol scare in 1982, and participated in search and rescue missions.   

OSF Lifeline helicopters are now able to land under instrument flight rules (IFR) at 10 regional hospitals.

OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center has had IFR landing capability since the late 1980s, but until now, when weather conditions required IFR, Lifeline had to land at local airports instead of the regional hospitals.  It took nearly two years to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to have the instrument approaches to 10 regional hospitals operational.

“Having IFR clearance for Lifeline to land at the regional hospitals makes a big difference when it comes to patient care,” explains Theresa Finerty, OSF Aviation executive director.  “In the past, when weather conditions forced us to fly under IFR, we would have to land at a nearby airport, transport the patient by ambulance to the airport, transfer them to the Lifeline helicopter, then fly them to their destination. That’s a lot of movement of the patient. Now we can go directly from hospital to hospital, which is much better in terms of patient care.”

 Lifeline uses a Bell 230 helicopter which has room for two patients and three healthcare professionals in addition to the pilot. Cruising at 140 mph, Lifeline serves an area within a 150-mile radius of Rockford.  The caregivers flying with Lifeline are flight nurses, flight paramedics and physicians.  All have received special training in advanced cardiac and advanced pediatric life support and prehospital trauma management.