Arkansas Children’s owns and operates five ground ambulances and two twin-engine, instrument flight-capable helicopters; a medically equipped fixed-wing aircraft is also utilized through our preferred providers for long-distance or backup aircraft. Our Medical Staff consists of highly trained transport registered nurses and respiratory therapists, competent in pediatric, neonatal, burn, and high risk obstetrical (HROB) critical care transport.

Contact Angel One

Contact Angel One dispatch for immediate assistance with transport requests or to consult with pediatric sub-specialists for emergent intensive care need. When referring physicians contact the Angel One Communications Center, they are connected with the appropriate ICU attending physician and other specialty physicians for transportation or consultation needs. 

Angel One began operations in 1978. Formerly known as Arkansas Newborn Transport Service (ANTS), the patient transportation program originally operated with only one ambulance and a mission to save premature babies from dying. The program was an instant success and in 1982 the hospital leased a fixed-wing aircraft from Central Flying Service to help extend this life-saving service across the state.

Later, in 1985, Arkansas Children's Hospital added a helicopter capability to the transport service under the new service name of Angel One. The Bell 206-L-1 single engine helicopter landed directly at the referring hospital to pick patients up and direct transport them back to Arkansas Children's Hospital. In 1987, the transport program upgraded to a new, lightweight, twin-engine helicopter, an Airbus BO-105 which provided additional safety features.

In 1992, the Angel One program added a medium-lift, twin-engine Sikorsky S-76-A helicopter to the program to meet additional demand and transport multiple patients. After ten years of service, the hospital replaced the BO 105 and Sikorsky S-76 A model with two new Sikorsky S-76 C+ aircraft in 2002. With over 11,000 hours per airframe, ACH purchased two new Sikorsky S-76 D model aircraft in 2015. In addition to helicopter capabilities, Angel One operates five critical care ground ambulances. Occasionally, transport requests extend beyond our typical service area, and Angel One utilizes medically configured fixed-wing aircraft (separate FAA Part 135 operators) to transport patients as far as the east and west coasts of the United States.

In addition to owning our helicopters, Arkansas Children's Hospital operates its airline certificate from the FAA. Arkansas Children's Hospital made the switch in 2003 and has enjoyed having direct control over aircraft operations and the ability to hire the best pilots and maintenance technicians to meet the hospital's mission. 

Q: How do I contact Angel One?

A: Call Angel One Toll-Free: 1-800-224-4357

Q: How many medical transports does Angel One perform each day?

A: On average, we transport five patients a day.

Q: What kind of weather does Angel One fly in?

A: Our aircraft are Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) equipped aircraft.  This means we can fly utilizing the same rules as commercial airplanes using the planned flight paths between larger airports.  This is different than a Visual Flight Rule (VFR) aircraft which can only fly where they can see.

Q: What is the age limit for Arkansas Children's Hospital and Angel One?

A: Arkansas Children's provides care to patients up to 21 years of age. Angel One follows this same principle, however, we also transport burn patients to ACH and High-Risk Obstetric patients which are taken to UAMS.

Q: How do I get a job at Angel One?

A: Angel One utilizes various specialties on our team including Pilots for our aircraft, Certified A & P Mechanics, EMT’s for our Ambulances, EMT’s or other communication related certified staff for our communication center, and RN’s & RT’s for direct patient care. Learn more about career opportunities with Angel One.

Q: What is your service area?

A: Angel One serves the state of Arkansas and the surrounding states by helicopter and plane.  From Little Rock, our service area covers a 200 nautical mile radius.

Q: If I'm in a car accident will you come to get me?

A: Angel One does not perform a scene response.  We are an inter-facility transfer service.  If your child is in an accident, they need to get to the closest facility as quickly as possible.  If the physician at that facility determines the need for a helicopter they will call us for transport.

Q: What happens if I don’t have medical insurance- will you still come to pick me up?

A: Angel One serves the people of the state of Arkansas without a question of payment.  Patients who are from other states may require pre-approval.

Q: Who does the maintenance on your helicopters?

A: Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s own FAA Part 135 certificate gives us the ability to perform our own maintenance on our aircraft.  Arkansas Children's Hospital employs 6 full-time A & P mechanics, bringing many years of experience to Angel One.

Q: Can I make a financial contribution to Angel One?

A: You can donate to the Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation. The Foundation is the charitable organization that raises money for Arkansas Children's and Angel One. 

Q: Can your helicopter/ambulance vehicle come to visit our school/church/boy scouts, etc.?

A: We utilize our ambulance for Public Relations requests within central Arkansas.  Due to so many flight requests, we cannot utilize the helicopters for these types of requests.

Angel One operates a fleet of seven vehicles, including five ground ambulances and 2 Sikorsky S-76D helicopters. Angel One has contracted on-demand fixed-wing (airplane) providers available for long-distance transports.

Ground Ambulance

Angel One operates five ground ambulances that function as mobile intensive care units, providing critical-care medical transport specifically for pediatric and neonatal patients. These ambulances were developed specifically for Angel One and included the ability to transport two isolettes, Mobile ECMO, and more. The ambulances are equipped with the latest in safety equipment.


In 2015, we took delivery of two state-of-the-art Sikorsky 76 D model aircraft designed for accessibility of the crew to the patient and the ease of flying with the addition of a glass cockpit. These helicopters make it possible to fly in adverse weather conditions utilizing Instrument Flight Rules. This feature increases our ability to reach critically-ill patients when the weather would normally prevent helicopter transport. These Sikorsky helicopters also allow us to transport multiple patients at one time.

With a full-time staff including administration, air medical communication specialists, nurses, respiratory therapists, Emergency Medical Technicians, mechanics, and pilots, Angel One has a highly diversified group of dedicated personnel. All Angel One staff must attend mandatory Safety Day training annually, which includes flight physiology, survival, post-accident/incident training, helicopter safety, ambulance safety, and other safety hot topics.

Communication Center

We have a 24-hour dedicated communications center with IAMTCS trained air medical communication specialists to take all incoming requests for transport or consults. Our communications center handles more than 3,000  calls per month, including more than 160 patient transports and 150 patient consults from physicians just requesting advice in the management of a critical pediatric, neonatal or burn patient.

Our staff tracks all vehicles transporting Angel One patients and staff, including helicopter, fixed-wing and ground units. We obtain latitude, longitude and ground speed on the air vehicles and mile marker or GPS location of our ground units. Our communication staff not only handles phone calls, but radio traffic as well.

Medical Staff

Along with basic transport training, our medical staff is trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Neonatal Resuscitation Program, nationally certified in neonatal-pediatric transport (C-NPT) and other specified pediatric and neonatal training.

Our Registered Nurses and Respiratory Therapists have experience in both Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU) and Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU), as well as specific training for transport. Our average transport medical team member has been on the Angel One staff ten years or more.

Each of our medical staff is required to maintain their skills quarterly. These skills include umbilical line placement, interosseous needle placement, intubation/rapid sequence induction (RSI), needle decompression, angiocatheter placement, high-frequency ventilation, nitric oxide administration, IV placement, IV pump, cardiac/hemodynamic monitoring, defibrillation/cardioversion, cardiac pacing, fracture stabilization/splinting, cervical spine stabilization, care of the burn patient and High-Risk Obstetrics.

With the development of pediatric medical simulation at the Simulation Center, Angel One has utilized this resource to further sharpen our skills with medical procedures and overall patient management and interaction with referring hospital staff and patient families.

Emergency Medical Technicians

Our Emergency Medical Technicians are all Arkansas licensed EMTs or higher and maintained licensure as according to the Arkansas Department of Health, Section of EMS and Trauma Systems. Each EMT has transport-specific training, including completion of a Coaching The Emergency Vehicle Operator (CEVO). They provide safe transport for our patients and crews and assist within the scope of their practice, as EMTs, on ground and air transport, as necessary.


Our commercially-licensed, instrument-rated pilots are required to have attained a minimum of 2,700 helicopter flight hours. On average, the Angel One pilots have thousands of hours of total flight time and decades of experience. Each of our pilots is required to attend annual training at Flight Safety for extensive, hands-on simulated emergency and instrument flight training and on-site, monthly training with semi-annual check rides. Pilots complete a minimum of 60 hours of annual classroom and computerized academic training and testing.

Helicopter Maintenance

Angel One has a helicopter maintenance staff of 6 FAA-licensed mechanics dedicated to the required daily maintenance of our helicopters. The Angel One Aviation maintenance staff completes 8 major inspections per year, depending on flight hours. Each of our mechanics has many years of experience and attend a minimum of 60 hours of continuing education annually to include, but is not limited to Flight Safety’s Master Technician training, factory engine school, human factors and quality control.

Learn more about Angel One Transport

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