Air ambulance visits KCC

Air ambulance visits KCC

Flight paramedics share information

Air ambulance visits KCC

Posted On: 07/01/21

On the morning of July 1, Kankakee Community College Paramedic program students learned about the role of flight paramedics and the ground personnel who assist helicopter crews.

Amanda Fagan, a flight medic with Superior Air Ambulance, presented information on when a helicopter is needed, and how to establish a helicopter landing zone.

​​​​​​Personnel from the Kankakee Fire Department and Riverside Ambulance Services sat in on the training, helped set up the landing zone, and communicated with the helicopter pilot.

The group then went to the KCC parking lot where the fire department and ambulances set up a landing zone. At 10:23 a.m., a helicopter from Superior Air Ambulance landed. Students met the crew, toured the helicopter and asked questions. After a little more than an hour, the helicopter departed. 

“This is a really good experience because in our field and our experience, we’re probably going to have to call a helicopter at some point in our career,” said Kaitlynn Vahl, a student in the Paramedic III course. “And, this is telling us how to land a helicopter, where and when and in what circumstances we would call the helicopter. So, to actually see it in person before we actually get to that situation is a really good experience.”

Another student, Mike Zaida of Frankfort, said the experience brought his training “full circle.”

“The helicopter was cool,” Zaida said. “We learn about this all year, about these high traumatic scenes. A lot of calls that we see, we see them come in, we see them on the ambulance, but to get their interpretation of when we should call, it really clarified things.”

“Anytime we have hands-on, I think it’s a great experience for students to see things rather than just read about it in a book,” said Chris Gibson, director of the KCC Paramedic program. “So, having a helicopter come out and land is really great. They got to meet the pilots, talk to the flight nurses, flight medics, ask them lots of questions.” 

Paramedic III is the final course in KCC’s Paramedic associate degree program. It includes training in handling a variety of medical emergencies, including transportation of critical patients, vehicle rescue, crime scenes and hazardous materials awareness. The KCC Paramedic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

More information about the program is available from Gibson by email at or contact him at 815-802-8815.