About the Angel One® Program

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 as well as transport multiple patients. After 10 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 has a plan to replace the current aircraft with new Sikorsky S-76 D model aircraft in late 2014 early 2015. In addition to helicopter capabilities, Angel One staff three critical care ground ambulances. Occasionally, transport requests extend beyond our typical service area and Angel One utilizes medically configured fixed-wing aircraft (separate FAA Pat 135 operators) to transport patients as far as the east and west coasts of the United States.

In addition to owning our own helicopters, Arkansas Children's Hospital operates its own 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 mission of the hospital. 

Contact Angel One by calling 1-800-224-4357.

Transporting Patients in Arkansas Since 1978

Angel One provides critical care transport to neonatal, pediatric, high-risk obstetric and burn patients across the state of Arkansas as well as the surrounding border states. In addition, Angel One is one of a few programs in the country capable of transporting patients who require Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) in our transport vehicles.Our program is characterized by the following groundbreaking statistics:

  • Our program covers a radius of approximately 250 miles around Little Rock
  • On average, we transport five patients per day with an average patient transport time of approximately 5 hours
  • Angel One was the first pediatric team to become accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) in 1996.
  • Our helicopters can reach any part of the state within one hour of departure from our hospital.
  • We perform more than 2,000 total patient transports per year with 1,100 by helicopter, 700 by ground ambulance and 200 by fixed wing aircraft.
  • Our helicopters fly approximately 30% of their missions Single Pilot Instrument Flight Rules which provides an added measure of safety for our team and patients.
  • Since 2009, Angel One has transported over 2400 parents/family members with the patient to promote the hospital's family-centered care program.

About the Angel One Staff

Angel One attracts amazing talent. Our department consists of critical care Registered Nurses and Respiratory Therapists who provide intensive care unit level care to our patients. Our aviators are seasoned veterans with at least 3,000 flight hours in military or civilian rotor wing operations while our aircraft maintenance professionals are aircraft factory trained, master technicians that keep our aircraft in superior working order. Angel One EMTs safely operate our fleet of ambulances across the service area while a Communication Specialist promptly and professional answers the call from a referring physician, tracks our vehicles and facilitates critical communications across the operation. To ensure optimal healthcare services and outstanding customer service, each Angel One employee acts under the highest standards of professionalism to our patients, families, referring hospitals and fellow Arkansas Children's Hospital employees.

For more information, please visit our Angel One FAQs page.