LifeFlight Eagle

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
  • 0004.JPG
  • 0005a.jpg
  • 0029a.jpg
  • 0040B.jpg
  • 0065.JPG
  • 0069.JPG
  • 0083.jpg
  • 0086.JPG
  • 0090.JPG
  • 100_0636.jpg
  • 0131B.jpg
  • 0145.JPG
  • 0165.JPG
  • 0170.JPG
  • 0182.JPG
  • 0205.JPG
  • 407GX_Assembly_web.jpg
  • 407GX_Cockpit_web.jpg
  • 407GX_Eagle1-3_web.jpg
  • 407GX_Eagle1_web.jpg

Register Now for the LifeFlight Eagle Safety Symposium

4th Annual Safety Symposium will be October 16-17

Mark your calendar for October 16 and 17, and plan to attend this year's LifeFlight Eagle Safety Symposium in Kansas City, Mo.

Once again, safety experts and leaders from air-medical programs throughout North America will converge at this growing annual event to engage in improving safety throughout the air-medical industry.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Bell Helicopter, PHI Air Medical, and Airbus Helicopters, we are proud to offer registration to the 2014 LifeFlight Eagle Safety Symposium and its program of world-class speakers at no charge to attendees.

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from outstanding faculty, network with peers, and come home with ideas to enhance safety in your own program.

Click Here to Register, or call 816-283-9710

Meet the Faculty

The 2014 Safety Symposium features an excellent faculty of professionals from air-medical and safety-related fields. Presentations include:

Dr. Tania Glenn
President, Tania Glenn and Associates, PA

Because of the nature of their mission, air-medical crews are subjected to trauma and stress every day. It can take a terrible toll on our most important resource—our people. How can we protect and serve our employees to prevent PTSD, and what do we do if tragedy strikes?

Dr. Tania Glenn has been on the front lines of some of America’s darkest hours. She has dedicated her practice to helping those who serve and protect, specializing in the identification and treatment of severe stress and trauma. Because Dr. Glenn focuses on the aviation, military, and public safety communities, she has worked with hundreds of individuals in combating their PTSD. Dr. Tania Glenn is the Clinical Director of the PHI, Inc. Critical Incident Response Team, the US Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine Critical Incident Response Team, the US Airways Critical Incident Response Team and the Southwest Airlines Critical Incident Response Team. Her background experience includes providing traumatic stress management services after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Jarrell tornado in 1997, the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and numerous other incidents including line of duty deaths and suicides of emergency personnel. Tania has written numerous articles and is a regular contributor to Air Beat, the journal of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association. In 2006 Tania was featured in "Between Iraq and a Hard Place," a documentary on traumatic stress in the military. Tania Glenn is the President of Tania Glenn and Associates, PA, a clinical private practice in Austin, Texas.

Monitoring Your Safety Culture
Tom Judge
Executive Director, LifeFlight of Maine

Most people in the air-medical community feel their program has an excellent safety culture. We know from unfortunate history that complacency and a false sense of safety are dangers for every program. How can we evaluate our own organizations’ safety culture and monitor it to ensure we’re doing everything possible to prevent the unthinkable?

Thomas Judge serves as the Executive Director of LifeFlight of Maine. Mr. Judge brings a 30-year background in pre-hospital emergency medical services in roles from provider to system planner/regulator. He has served as a subject matter expert for the National Transportation Safety Board, and currently serves on the Joint Helicopter Safety Implementation Team, one of two work groups of the International Helicopter Safety Symposium.  Mr. Judge is a former board chair of the Association of Critical Care Transport, and is a past president of the Association of Air Medical Services.

Keynote Presentation
Honorable Robert L. Sumwalt
Board member, National Transportation Safety Board

Honorable Robert L. Sumwalt will deliver the Thursday evening keynote presentation. Mr. Sumwalt has served since 2006 as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, where he has been a fierce advocate for improving safety in all modes of transportation.

Prior to coming to the Board, Mr. Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years as an airline pilot with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways. After his airline career he joined SCANA, a Fortune 500 energy company, where he managed their corporate aviation department. He logged over 14,000 flight hours and earned type ratings in five aircraft.

Mr. Sumwalt worked on special assignment to the US Airways Flight Safety Department where he was involved in the development of numerous airline safety programs. He served on the US Airways Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) Monitoring Team.

He served as an air safety representative for Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) for 17 years where he chaired ALPA's Human Factors and Training Group. He was a co-founder of that organization's Critical Incident Response Program, which provides guidance to airline personnel involved in traumatic events such as accidents.

From 1991 to 1999, Mr. Sumwalt conducted aviation safety research as a consultant to NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System, where he studied flight crew human factors. He co-authored a book on aircraft accidents and he wrote chapters pertaining to aircraft accident investigation in two books. He has written extensively on aviation safety matters, having published over 90 articles and papers.

In 2003, Mr. Sumwalt joined the faculty of the University of Southern California's Aviation Safety and Security Program, where he was the primary human factors instructor.

In recognition of his contributions to the aviation industry, Mr. Sumwalt received the Flight Safety Foundation's Laura Taber Barbour Award in 2003 and ALPA's Air Safety Award in 2005. He is a 2009 inductee into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Aeronautical Science (with Distinction) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, specializing in Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems and Human Factors Aviation Systems.

IIMC Case Review
Lindsay Cunningham
Senior Manager of Aviation Safety at Airbus Helicopters

Flying into Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC) is both terrifying and deadly. Lindsay Cunningham will walk participants through a real-life scenario and discuss how we all can apply learnings taken from these past incidents and accidents to help save lives in the future. Ms. Cunningham has spent the majority of her career in accident investigations, and currently works as Senior Manager of Aviation Safety at Airbus Helicopters. She is a certified pilot and holds a BS in Professional Aeronautics and a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Land and LIVE!
Stan Rose
Director of Safety at Helicopter Association International

The Helicopter Association International’s new safety campaign was born out of a sense of frustration that so many helicopter accidents are preventable. It’s based on a simple premise: short of a catastrophic mechanical failure, making a precautionary landing will break most accident chains. But the decision has to be made before a situation has become an emergency. And too many pilots and crew members either don’t consider such a landing as part of their safety checklist or wait too long before making the decision.

Stan Rose, HAI’s Director of Safety will present the campaign and discuss how we all can benefit by implementing it in our own organization. Mr. Rose has been involved in the helicopter industry for more than 40 years. He began his career as a U.S. Army pilot in Vietnam, and later attended the Maintenance Officer/Test Pilot Course with the U.S. Army Reserves. Since that time he has served in numerous and varied positions including as line pilot in the Gulf of Mexico, lead pilot and program director for air medical operations, Chief Pilot of a law enforcement helicopter support unit, and as a business planning and acquisitions consultant.

Rotor Accidents and Technology
William “Tony” Randall
Manager of Continued Operational Safety at Bell Helicopter

How can improved technology help prevent helicopter accidents? William “Tony” Randall will discuss new technological innovations and how they can enhance safety in all aviation programs. Mr. Randall is Manager of Continued Operational Safety at Bell Helicopter. He has served in various leadership and safety roles with Bell Helicopter and served for 20 years in the United States Marine Corps as a pilot, test pilot, fleet upgrade officer, and squadron executive. At Bell, he provides world-wide support to aviation accident investigations involving Bell products. He manages the company's System Safety Engineers in support of new aircraft and improvement programs.


Thanks to our Sponsors

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are proud to offer registration to the 2014 LifeFlight Eagle Safety Symposium and its program of world-class speakers at no charge to attendees.
Please join us in thanking our 2014 Symposium sponsors for this investment in the safety of our industry: Bell Helicopter, PHI Air Medical, and Airbus Helicopters.

Local Accomodations

Conference Center

This year's conference will once again at the Hilton Kansas City Airport conference center. Click here for directions

Hotel Rooms

A special room rate of $99+tax per night is available at the Hilton Kansas City Airport.
For reservations:
Call 816-801-4010 and mention group name LifeFlight Eagle Safety Symposium, or 
Click here make a reservation online. Use group name LifeFlight Eagle Safety Symposium and group code LIFE.

Cancellation/No-show policy:

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are proud to offer registration to the 2014 LifeFlight Eagle Safety Symposium and its program of world-class speakers at no charge to attendees. In order to respect the investment our sponsors have made in the safety of our industry, we have implemented a cancellation/no-show policy.
Registrants who cancel within two weeks of the event or do not attend the Symposium will be charged a $75 cancellation/no-show fee.
Call 816-283-9710 with any questions or to register by phone.
Click Here to Register or call 816-283-9710



LifeFlight Eagle places two new Bell 407GX helicopters in service

LifeFlight Eagle invests in technology, safety upgrades with new helicopters in Trenton, Harrisonville

One of LifeFlight Eagle's new Bell 407GX helicopters sits on a dolly at the downtown airport in Kansas City during training. LifeFlight Eagle has replaced its helicopters based in Harrisonville and Trenton with two new state-of-the-art Bell 407GX helicopters. While they look similar on the outside to the helicopters they replace, the new aircraft feature technology and safety upgrades, including a glass-cockpit and two-axis autopilot, among others.

LifeFlight Eagle has placed into service two new state-of-the-art Bell 407GX helicopters at its Harrisonville and Trenton bases. The new aircraft were purchased as part of the non-profit organization’s fleet replacement program, and reflect LifeFlight Eagle’s ongoing commitment to the community to provide life-saving transport to critically ill and injured patients in Missouri and Kansas.

From the outside, the aircraft look very similar to the 10-year-old Bell 407 helicopters they replace, but inside the changes are remarkable. The most dramatic difference is in the pilot’s cockpit. Gone are the array of analog dials, now replaced by two large, glass flat-panel displays and electronic controls for the aircrafts' systems.

The pilot has a primary flight display in front of him, with a secondary display that can hold information like a moving map, airport information and engine monitoring instruments.

“The Garmin G1000H avionics suite is a very dynamic tool,” said Stu Buckingham, a pilot and business operations manager for LifeFlight Eagle’s air operator, PHI Air Medical.  “It enhances safety in a number of ways — most importantly, it assists the pilot in maintaining situational awareness through the twin screens. It displays things like converging air traffic, obstacles and terrain, and it has a terrain avoidance warning system to alert the pilot if the aircraft is approaching the ground unknowingly.”

“It also reduces pilot workload by presenting visual navigation and color-coded graphs of engine monitoring and aircraft performance. The pilot can take this information in at a glance — more quickly than with traditional gauges.”

One of the new aircraft’s most important safety upgrades is not very visible until it’s needed. The helicopters feature a two-axis autopilot system, which allows the pilot to set the aircraft to automatically control altitude and heading. In addition to reducing pilot fatigue on long flights, the autopilot provides important aircraft capabilities if the pilot encounters unforecasted weather conditions.  The helicopters have the ability to automatically level themselves with the autopilot system and climb to a safe altitude should the pilot lose visual reference to the ground.

Joe Coons, LifeFlight Eagle’s Director of Safety, said it was important to note that the new aircraft’s capabilities didn’t mean LifeFlight Eagle would now fly in questionable weather or low visibility, but that they provide an additional margin of safety should the pilot inadvertently fly into those conditions.

“Safety for our patients and our crews is at the core of everything we do,” Coons said. “We’re not going to accept a patient flight unless we have 100 percent certainty that we can safely deliver that patient to the hospital and the care they need.”

LifeFlight Eagle CEO Roxanne Shanks said the investment in new technology and safety enhancements was a reflection of the organization’s commitment to the communities it serves.

“Going all the way back to LifeFlight Eagle’s roots in 1978, we’ve had a close relationship with the community, and a great sense of responsibility to the community,” Shanks said. “As a non-profit organization, it’s more than patient flights for us. It’s about enhancing the communities we serve through partnership with EMS agencies, fire departments and hospitals, through education and by enhancing the quality and availability of emergency medical services for the people in these communities.”

“These new aircraft are simply an extension of these core values. They will help ensure that we are able to continue to provide safe, rapid transport and exceptional clinical care to critically ill and injured patients in these communities for years to come.”

“We couldn’t provide this service without the support of the community, though, and for that we are very grateful,” Shanks said. “The donations we receive and the support provided through our membership program are invaluable.”

LifeFlight Eagle is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides life-saving helicopter transport to critically ill and injured patients from communities within a 150-mile radius of Kansas City. It provides two Bell 407GX and two Bell 407 helicopters from bases in Trenton, Harrisonville, Odessa and Clinton, Mo. It also owns a larger Eurocopter EC-145 helicopter, which is dedicated to the Children’s Mercy Critical Care Transport Team. That aircraft is also equipped with a glass cockpit and fully integrated autopilot, and is capable of flying under Instrument Flight Rules. All LifeFlight Eagle helicopters are operated and maintained by PHI Air Medical.

For more information about LifeFlight Eagle or the LifeFlight Eagle membership program, contact Matt Daugherty at 816-283-9734 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Two LifeFlight Eagle nurses win prestigious state-wide awards

LifeFlight Eagle flight nurses Shirley Arnold and Sheila Kauffman won prestigious state-wide awards at the Missouri EMS Conference and Expo. Arnold, who works at LifeFlight Eagle’s Trenton base, was named MEMSA Nurse of the Year, and Kauffman, who works at LifeFlight Eagle’s Clinton base, was named Instructor/Coordinator of the Year.

LifeFlight Eagle nurses win 2013 MEMSA awards

They received their awards on July 31 at MEMSA’s annual meeting at the Missouri EMS Conference & Expo in Branson, Mo.


LifeFlight Eagle presents Sullivan County Ambulance, Milan Fire with Life Saver Awards

LifeFlight Eagle presented the Sullivan County Ambulance District and Milan Fire Department with Life Saver Awards on Monday, May 20, in recognition of exceptional performance helping save a life under difficult circumstances last year.

On April 30, 2012, a 16-year-old boy in Milan was riding his 4-wheeler when he crashed into a deep concrete spillway. He was severely injured in the crash, but after regaining consciousness, somehow managed to climb partway out of the ditch before his friends found him and called for help.

Sullivan County Ambulance District Paramedic Matt Keuhn responded to the call and found every paramedic’s worst nightmare: the patient was his child.

LifeFlight Eagle presented the Sullivan County Ambulance District and Milan Fire Department with Life Saver 
Awards on Monday, May 20, in recognition of exceptional performance helping save a life under difficult 
circumstances last year. Pictured are Vivian Hall, left, Barbara Hostetter, Donald Murphy, Ryan Keuhn,
Eagle CEO Roxanne Shanks, Matt Keuhn, LifeFlight Eagle base manager Rich Cunningham, Lonnie
LifeFlight Eagle flight nurse Angie Jedlicka, Charles Emberton, John Bushnell and Robert Armes.


Teenager defies odds to survive severe trauma from wreck


Jackson Hill had his summer planned out. He was working out, getting ready for his senior football season at Lee’s Summit High School. The 17-year-old had a well-paying job with a moving company that helped him bulk up for his starting spot as an outside linebacker. He had just finished football camp and was looking forward to a little time off.

Instead, he spent the summer fighting for his life.

After running some errands on June 13, Jackson had some time to kill before heading to Holden for a friend’s going-away party. He decided to go visit his sister, Tabitha, in Warrensburg and headed that direction on Missouri Route 13.

Jackson topped a hill speeding on his motorcycle and found a car stopped in the middle of the road in front of him waiting to turn. He tried to swerve left to avoid the car, but clipped its left rear fender and veered directly into the path of an oncoming car, striking it at full speed.

“I remember laying there, and I was mainly worried about my bike and how bad it was hurt,” Jackson later recalled. “’Cause I didn’t realize near how bad everything was.”

“I was worried, you know that I probably had some road rash. I was worried about getting back up, that my dad was going to be mad and whatnot. But I was definitely thinking that I was going to get back up and be on my way.”

But Jackson had suffered massive trauma. His right leg was amputated below the knee. Every bone in both legs was severely broken. His left ankle and foot were shattered. He had a broken pelvis and a massive, deep laceration extending from his hip nearly to his groin.

Jackson lay crumpled and broken on the centerline of the highway.


Working with local schools to curb drinking and driving

Harrisonville firefighters work on securing Bailey Warner Harrisonville High School student on a backboard to prepare her for a flight from a docudrama scene in the parking lot of Harrisonville High School, May 15, 2010. Harrisonville police, fire and EMS enlisted the help of LifeFlight Eagle to help teach students the dangers of drinking and driving by staging a mock car crash. During the demonstration, the student was removed from the vehicle, as it would happen it real life, in an effort to save her life, while another student was tested and arrested for drunk driving. LifeFlight Eagle was called in to fly the student out.


Quick intervention saves another life

Harold DenmanIt was a typical Wednesday evening Dec. 2, 2009, for mechanic Harold Denman. He was working on a truck when he started feeling a little queasy.

“There had been a bug going around, so I just thought I was getting a cold, didn’t think much of it,” said 56-year-old Denman.

But his supervisor saw something Denman didn’t see.

Denman was pulling a part from the back room when he told his


EMS Week Fun

LifeFlight Eagle Paramedics, Damon Akers, left, and Robert Langston run the three legged race on crutches in the last leg of a relay race May 21, in Clinton, Mo. The relay was part of Golden Valley Memorial Hospital EMS Challenge for EMS Week. Surrounding EMS, Fire and Law Enforcement officials along with LifeFlight Eagle participated in the annual event. LifeFlight Eagle won the relay.


LifeFlight Eagle is a CAMTS Accredited Program