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Emergency Medicine – Patient Care and Treatment

Emergency Medicine – Patient Care and Treatment

We strive to give the highest quality, most efficient and compassionate emergency care to our patients and our community.

Contact us

If this is an emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency services provider.

To transfer a patient, including critical care transport service, please call the 24-hour MD Network


Our skilled emergency medicine team stands ready to help you with outstanding care. These specialty services help us save precious time:

We also work closely with special services departments, including:

Emergency ultrasound

At Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, we have the ability to answer some questions in just minutes with no exposure to radiation or long delays. Our emergency doctors can bring a portable ultrasound machine to the patient’s bedside to diagnose problems, guide procedures and steer the overall care of our patients.

We can examine someone critically injured in an accident, check the status of an early pregnancy, or to see if a patient needs immediate surgery. Our doctors are experts in ultrasound. They have dedicated extra time and effort learning skills to provide the best possible outcomes.

Emergency Ultrasound is not used for all patients and cannot answer every question. However, it helps us diagnose and treat problems, and summon specialists when needed, such as surgeons, radiologists, obstetrician/gynecologists, or internal medicine specialists.

At Penn State Health, we also teach medical students to use Emergency Ultrasound. You may see our resident physicians and medical students learning these skills.

Life Lion Critical Care Transport

Penn State LifeLion Critical Care transport helicopter

Every minute counts in the care of acutely ill and injured patients. Life Lion saves not only precious time, but also delivers specialized care and treatment. We pursue the highest standards of excellence and integrity in pre-hospital and inter-facility emergency and critical care transportation. Our specialty services include:

  • Air helicopter transport
  • Pediatric critical care ground transport
  • Therapeutic hypothermia (provided for post-cardiac arrest patients)
  • Landing zone safety training classes

We strive to excel as a national leader in emergency health care and transportation by creating a culture of respect, trust, transparency and collaboration with area hospitals as well as other emergency medical services in the region, thus creating peace of mind for our patients and their families in their time of crisis. 

We value:

  • Integrity. To have the commitment and courage to make the right choices no matter the cost and embrace accountability so as to encourage company-wide ownership and team responsibility in every aspect of organizational health.
  • Quality. To have the determination to pursue excellence and the highest standard of care in every aspect of our patient and staff interaction as well as through education, research, medical care and transportation of the sick and injured.
  • People. To strengthen our reputation with patients, health care providers and health care facilities one relationship at a time, by respecting, valuing and serving every person we encounter regardless of ethnicity, medical history or financial status.
  • Service. We are staffed by highly trained and qualified employees ready to serve 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the goal to exceed the expectations of our patients and health care facilities by providing attention to even the smallest of details.

How to request critical care transport

When your pre-hospital patient requires air medical transport, please contact Life Lion Communications at 800-225-4837 or through your county communications center.

Our communication specialist will need the following information when you call:

  • Location and description of the landing area
  • The landing zone officer's identifying name/number and radio frequency to be used
  • Number and approximate age of patients
  • Any entrapment or potential transportation delay
  • Brief medical condition of patient if available
  • If your department has designated landing zones that you often use, contact Life Lion Communications and we can keep them on file for faster response

Ride-along observational experience program

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.

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

In addition to the forms listed above, public safety personnel will need to complete the Supervisor/Chief Verification Letter and have it signed by their supervisor or chief for presentation on the day of the ride-along.

Ride-Along Observer Request form

Public appearance request

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

Public Relations or Crew/Vehicle Appearance Request Form

Contact us

Business Office/Program Manager
717-531-3878 - fax

Dispatch/Communication Center
800-225-4837 or 717-531-7777 
717-531-0861 - fax

Life Lion Critical Care Hanger – Hershey
500 University Drive, MC HS88
Hershey, PA  17033

Life Lion Critical Care – Carlisle
228 Petersburg Road
Hangar 15
Carlisle, PA  17013
717-243-0254 - fax

Public Relations/Outreach

Life Lion Critical Care email address


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Life Lion Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Photo of Life Lion EMS ambulance parked on a grassy areaPenn State Health operates the Life Lion EMS system throughout south central Pennsylvania. Life Lion EMS is a 24/7 emergency medical service that provides 911 response to the local municipalities and non-emergency transportation for the Penn State Health system. These services include ALS (Advanced Life Support), and BLS (Basic Life Support) care with a team of highly trained Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. A team of 150 people make up Life Lion EMS and respond to calls for assistance from various locations strategically located in the communities we serve. The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has provided prehospital service to the community for over 25 years and Life Lion EMS proudly serves the local and regional communities:

We're committed to providing easy access to quality, efficient, out-of-hospital care in a professional, compassionate and caring environment.

Non-emergency transportation

Life Lion EMS provides non-emergency transportation services for the Penn State Health System in the following forms:


For patients who do not require ambulance/litter transportation, a simpler and more affordable means of transportation is available. A wheelchair patient should be medically stable, require minimal medical intervention or expected treatment.
One individual drives the van, so the patient must be able to sit in a wheelchair unattended. Many insurance companies do not cover wheelchair charges, or might only cover a portion of the charge, thus making payment of the transport the responsibility of the patient.

Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulance

Patients who require Basic Life Support transportation should be relatively stable, not requiring any form of invasive procedures (IV infusions, intubation, EKG monitoring, etc.). Capped IV ports are permissible for BLS transportation. Patient self-regulated medication pumps are allowed, only if the patient is able to maintain the device.

A BLS crew will consist of a minimum of two certified Emergency Medical Technicians, allowing one EMT to be present in the patient area. This transport will need to be deemed medically necessary by a physician, prior to transportation.

Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulance

For patients who require Advanced Life Support inter-facility transports, requiring a higher level of care than a BLS transport. These types of transports would include, but are not limited to, a patient with IV access, medication administration (within the scope of practice for paramedics), EKG monitoring, and or advanced airway and basic ventilator management.

EMT-Paramedics are required to function under a Pennsylvania Department of Health authorized medical command physician. Transports that would exceed a paramedic scope of practice would be triaged and moved to the Critical Care Transport level also provided by the Life Lion system. All transports  need to be deemed medically necessary by a physician, prior to transportation.

To request a transport, please complete the Transport Request Form and submit this via fax machine to the Life Lion communications center at 717-531-0861.

Life Lion continuing education and special programs

Life Lion Emergency Medical Services presents a monthly continuing education session, free of charge, for all EMS providers. These sessions are held the third Thursday of each month (except holidays) and provides 1.5 hours of Pennsylvania Continuing Education credits for pre-hospital providers.

Monthly topics range from medical updates to informative presentations presented by Penn State Health physicians  and EMS personnel. The monthly session begins at 18:30 EST and is held in Lecture Room T2500 of Hershey Medical Center. Other programs are held in conjunction with Life Lion Critical Care Transport and other departments in the health system, as available. For more information about these sessions, email Donna Fawber-Via at

Life Lion EMS Community Paramedicine Program

Newly added in 2017, the Community Paramedicine program is a unique offering for the patients our health system serves. Specially trained paramedics provide in-home care and follow-up monitoring on patients that have been discharged from the hospital. This team reports their findings back to the primary care team and ensures the transition of care from the hospital to home is smooth for the patient. This helps to reduce, and ultimately prevent readmissions.  

Community Paramedic programs, also called mobile integrated health teams, are a new service that is being offered by many EMS agencies across the country. These programs have shown great success in reducing the impact of disease and illness on various patient populations. Life Lion EMS is one of the first in Central Pennsylvania to offer such a program and uniquely helps to distinguish our EMS service from others.  

EMS special operations

Physician response unit

Photo of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Physician Responce VehicleLife Lion EMS operates a specially designated physician response unit that deploys emergency medicine physicians into the community on a variety of 911 incidents. This unit carries specialized equipment and medications to any routine or complex 911 scene where a physician might be needed. This specialized unit is the only one in service in central Pennsylvania and one of a handful in the entire Commonwealth of Pa.  

Tactical EMS

For many years, Life Lion EMS has supported the law enforcement community with paramedics trained in tactical medicine. These paramedics are imbedded on the county crisis response team to handle any injured parties. The paramedics have multiple hours of training and certifications in all aspects of tactical medicine and support law enforcement at a variety of incidents.  

Special response team

Life Lion EMS also deploys a unique team that is specially trained to treat and transport patients who might have a highly infectious disease, or might have been exposed to a chemical, biological or nuclear agent. This team drills several times throughout the year and also supports hospital operations at all levels.    

Public service and public relations activities

Life Lion Emergency Medical Services has personnel and equipment available for a variety of public service activities. Crews can be  requested to attend functions to provide services and share information and programs on:

  • Ambulance stand by at community and sporting events (hourly fee charged)
  • Blood pressure screenings and wellness education
  • Car seat education/inspection
  • Ambulance and station tours
  • Education programs for kids and adults alike

Please feel free to contact our office with any request or questions at 717-531-3883 x-6

Contact information

Penn State Health Children's Hospital
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State Cancer Institute
Penn State University