Discover the Life-Saving Technology of Calstar Helicopter

Kind Reader, Calstar Helicopter is a prominent aviation service provider that delivers rapid and efficient emergency medical transportation services to people in need. With a fleet of fully-equipped and highly specialized helicopters, Calstar Helicopter serves as a vital lifeline in times of crisis, providing critical care and transportation to those in remote or hard-to-reach locations. Our dedicated team of pilots, mechanics, and medical personnel work together to ensure safe and speedy transportation for patients in need of emergency medical attention.

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About Calstar Helicopter

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Calstar Helicopter, also known as California Shock Trauma Air Rescue, is a non-profit air ambulance and rescue organization based in California. Founded in 1983, Calstar Helicopter has been providing critical care transport services to communities in Northern and Central California for over 38 years. The organization has become a pioneer in air ambulance services, providing its services to over 15 counties in California. Calstar Helicopter has also established numerous strategic partnerships with local healthcare providers that ensure the highest quality of care and coordination in patient transportation.

The Mission of Calstar Helicopter

Calstar Helicopter’s mission is to provide the highest level of medical care to critically ill and injured patients who require transportation via air ambulance. The organization is committed to delivering healthcare services to its patients with speed, safety, and compassion. Calstar Helicopter’s team of highly-trained professionals are dedicated to providing services to communities with limited access to hospitals, including rural areas and remote destinations.

Single-Pilot IFR Program

One of Calstar Helicopter’s most significant developments in recent years is its Single-Pilot IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) Program. The program utilizes modern avionics and aircraft that are capable of flying through all types of weather, day or night. It enables pilots to operate in challenging weather conditions, including fog and low visibility, while obtaining better situational awareness. This program significantly improves the safety, reliability, and efficiency of air ambulance services.

Calstar Helicopter’s Fleet

Calstar Helicopter’s fleet includes various critical care air ambulance aircraft, including helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and exclusive use air medical transport aircraft. Their helicopter fleet includes the AgustaWestland AW109, Bell 407, and Airbus H-130 models, outfitted with advanced medical equipment to provide exceptional care to patients. The organization also has a team of pilots who are highly skilled in instrument, night vision, and mountain flight operations.

Partnerships and Awards

Calstar Helicopter has established numerous strategic partnerships with local healthcare providers to offer seamless care to patients. Some of the organization’s strategic partners include hospitals, emergency medical service (EMS) agencies, and healthcare systems. Over the years, Calstar Helicopter has received various industry awards, including the CAMTS (Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems) Accreditation, the “Program of the Year” award from the Association of Air Medical Services, and the Airbus Helicopters “Vision Zero” Safety Award.

Calstar Helicopter’s Service Area

Calstar Helicopter provides air ambulance and critical care transport services to over 15 counties in Northern and Central California. The organization’s service area includes both urban and rural communities, as well as remote destinations, such as national parks. Calstar Helicopter has extensive experience working with various emergency response and healthcare agencies, coordinating and providing the highest quality of air ambulance services.

Calstar Helicopter’s Safety Record

Calstar Helicopter has an exceptional safety record, with numerous safety initiatives that focus on preventing accidents, incidents, and improving the safety culture within the organization. Calstar Helicopter has implemented a safety program that includes rigorous training, safety assessments, and safety audits to maintain its exceptional safety record. The organization is also committed to following the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety regulations, ensuring the highest level of safety in air medical transportation.

Services Offered by Calstar Helicopter

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Calstar Helicopter is committed to providing a wide range of services to its clients. They cater to both emergency medical services as well as non-emergency medical services, providing critical support during the times of need. In this section, we’ll look at some of the services offered by Calstar Helicopter in detail.

1. Emergency Medical Services

Calstar Helicopter provides high-quality air ambulance services to critically injured patients across various regions. These are time-sensitive services designed to evacuate accident victims, critically injured patients, and patients requiring immediate medical attention to nearby hospitals. They have a fleet of helicopters and experienced staff who are available round the clock to provide quick response times, ensuring patients receive the best possible care in the shortest possible time.

2. Non-emergency Medical Services

Calstar Helicopter’s non-emergency medical transportation services provide a safe, comfortable, and reliable way for patients to travel from one location to another. These services are designed for patients who require medical assistance during their transportation, but it is not a life-threatening situation. These services are available 24/7, and the Calstar staff ensures that patients receive the best possible care throughout their journey.

3. Search and Rescue

Calstar Helicopter also provides search and rescue services to help locate and rescue people who are lost or injured in remote areas and inaccessible locations. They have highly trained pilots and search and rescue specialist teams, along with advanced rescue and communication equipment, to ensure successful rescue missions in the most challenging conditions.

4. Disaster Response

Calstar Helicopter plays an essential role in disaster response by providing logistical support, delivering critical supplies and equipment, transporting responders, and evacuating victims. They have experience working with government agencies and other organizations, ensuring that all operations are handled efficiently and effectively.

5. Helicopter Maintenance and Repair

Calstar Helicopter’s commitment to safety and maintenance is unparalleled. They have a team of maintenance engineers and support staff who ensure that their helicopters are safe, fully operational and have all necessary equipment on board. Regular maintenance checks and repairs are performed on all helicopters to ensure they are in top condition and stay in compliance with all federal regulations regarding aviation safety.

6. Pilot Services Training

Calstar Helicopter also provides comprehensive pilot training for new pilots to the industry and experienced pilots looking for advanced training. Their training programs cover areas such as flight safety, helicopter maintenance, rescue techniques, and response to in-flight emergencies. With their training, pilots have the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to any situation, ensuring the safety of themselves and their passengers.

7. Community Outreach and Education

Calstar Helicopter is committed to promoting safety and raising awareness of their services within the communities they serve. They organize safety seminars, presentations, and educational programs designed to educate the public on aeromedical transportation, disaster response, and search and rescue services. They also partner with local emergency response agencies and organizations to provide support and enhance community preparedness and safety.

No Information
1 Name of company Calstar Helicopter
2 Year founded 1984
3 Main services provided Emergency medical transportation, air ambulance, search and rescue, fire suppression
4 Area served California, Oregon, Wyoming
5 Number of aircraft Over 20
6 Accreditations/awards HAA Safety Award, CAMTS Accreditation, NAAMTA Accreditation
7 Partnerships with healthcare providers Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, John Muir Health, UCSF Health

Calstar Helicopter Fleet

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Calstar Helicopter has a fleet of helicopters that are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and safety features. They have more than 50 helicopters that are manufactured by well-known brands such as Airbus, Bell, and Sikorsky. The helicopters used by Calstar Helicopter are maintained by highly skilled and experienced maintenance personnel to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Helicopter Brands Used by Calstar Helicopter

The following are the helicopter brands that are part of the Calstar Helicopter fleet:

No Helicopter Brand
1 Airbus
2 Bell
3 Sikorsky

The Airbus helicopters in the Calstar Helicopter fleet are the H125, H130, and H145 models. The Bell helicopters used by Calstar Helicopter are the Bell 206L, Bell 407GXP, and Bell 412EPI models. Meanwhile, the Sikorsky helicopters in the Calstar Helicopter fleet are the S-92 and S-76 models. These helicopters are chosen for their reliability, safety, and speed, which are all essential qualities for air medical transport.

Advanced Features of Calstar Helicopter Fleet

Calstar Helicopter’s fleet is equipped with advanced features that ensure the safety and comfort of both the patients and the medical crew. Among these features are:

  1. Medical Interior: The helicopters have state-of-the-art medical interiors that can accommodate various medical equipment and assure patient comfort.
  2. Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS): NVIS is a technology that helps pilots navigate in low-light conditions. Most of the Calstar Helicopter fleet has NVIS installed in their cockpits.
  3. Weather Radar: The helicopters are equipped with weather radar that helps the pilots avoid or navigate through hazardous weather conditions.

These features ensure that Calstar Helicopter’s fleet is equipped to handle any medical transportation need safely and efficiently.

The History of Calstar Helicopter

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California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) is a non-profit regional air ambulance service in Northern California. Its headquarters are based in Sacramento, California. The company operates all year, 24 hours a day, in partnership with a number of hospitals and healthcare providers around the region, providing air medical transportation for medical emergencies throughout the northern part of the state.

When Was Calstar Helicopter Established?

CALSTAR was established in 1984 by four Northern California air medical transportation providers, REACH Air Medical Services, Mercy Air Service, San Benito County Air Corps, and Stanford Life Flight. It was developed as an innovative response to the growing demand for air ambulance and emergency medical services in the area.

How Has Calstar Evolved Over Time?

Over the years, CALSTAR has rapidly expanded to cover a larger area in Northern California, including improving its safety procedures, enhancing its communication systems and improving its clinical programming.

“For over 35 years, CALSTAR has been committed to providing quality, high-level air ambulance and emergency care services to the residents and communities of Northern California.”

Calstar Helicopter Safety Measures

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When it comes to emergency air medical transport service, safety is of utmost importance. Calstar Helicopter takes all necessary measures to ensure the safety of their crew and patients. Here are some of the safety measures that Calstar Helicopter takes:

Regular Maintenance Checks

Calstar Helicopter performs daily and periodic maintenance checks on all of their aircraft to ensure they are in top working condition. The maintenance crew follows an extensive checklist that covers every critical component of the aircraft. They also perform tests and inspections to ensure that the helicopter is safe to fly.

Highly Trained Crew and Pilots

Calstar Helicopter has a team of highly trained pilots and crew. Their pilots undergo rigorous training and have thousands of hours of flight time. They also receive regular training to keep their skills sharp and to stay up-to-date on the latest safety procedures. The crew also receives specialized training in emergency medical procedures and the use of medical equipment in-flight.

State-of-the-Art Equipment

Calstar Helicopter uses state-of-the-art equipment and technology to ensure the safety of their crew and patients. Equipment such as night vision goggles, GPS navigation systems, and advanced weather detection systems place the Calstar Helicopter team at the forefront of safe and efficient air medical transport.

Strict Safety Standards

Calstar Helicopter adheres to strict safety standards set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA sets regulations and guidelines for aircraft operations, maintenance, and training. Calstar Helicopter goes above and beyond these standards to ensure the safety of their crew and patients.

Safety Record

Calstar Helicopter takes safety very seriously, and it shows in their safety record. They have a low accident rate, and they continuously strive to improve their safety programs and procedures. Calstar Helicopter is committed to providing the safest, highest quality air medical transport service.

Calstar Helicopter Service Area

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Calstar Helicopter provides services within their primary service area in northern and central California, including the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Joaquin, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their California fleet also includes ten bases – Concord, Grass Valley, Jackson, Merced, Modesto, Oakland, Salinas, Santa Rosa, South Lake Tahoe, and Ukiah.


Located in Contra Costa County, this Calstar base covers Antioch, Brentwood, Danville, Orinda, Lafayette, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek. It is also within reach of San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

Grass Valley

Calstar’s Grass Valley service area includes the Placer, Sierra, Yuba, Sutter, and Nevada County and is accessible for the Northern Sacramento Valley, Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, including popular travel destinations and resorts such as Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe.


The Jackson base services Amador and Calaveras Counties, including San Andreas, Angels Camp, Sutter Creek, Carmichael, Columbia, and Sonora. It also has limited transportation within Sacramento region.


The Merced station covers the Merced, Madera, and Fresno Counties, as well as many locations along Highway 99, including Chowchilla, Atwater, and Madera.


The Modesto base provides transport services throughout Stanislaus County and also stretches to Oakdale, Mariposa, Jamestown, and the surrounding areas. It is also strategically positioned to support southern San Joaquin Valley.


Oakland is the busiest station in Calstar’s fleet. It has excellent transport access to the Bay Area and covers all nine Bay Area Counties, with service going as far south as Monterey Bay Peninsula area.


Located in the central coast, Salinas base offers access to Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Salinas Valley regions within minutes.

Santa Rosa

The Santa Rosa base is located in Sonoma County hence providing quick access to the beautiful northern California coast, wine country, and other surrounding areas including Lake County and Mendocino.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe base offers air ambulance transport services for the El Dorado County region and other surrounding regions including Kirkwood, Alpine, and the popular South Lake Tahoe resorts.


Calstar’s Ukiah base is the only air ambulance provider in Mendocino County and offers access to the surrounding areas including Cloverdale, Laytonville, southern Humboldt County, and more.

Calstar Helicopter Air Ambulance Services

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Calstar Helicopter operates Air Ambulance Services to provide rapid medical assistance and transportation to individuals in critical conditions. The company’s air ambulances are equipped with modern medical equipment and are staffed by highly trained medical personnel. Calstar Helicopter Air Ambulance Services offer transportation for critically ill and injured patients throughout California and the western United States, delivering patients to specialized medical facilities where necessary. Calstar Helicopter provides air ambulance services for individuals requiring critical care as well as for those who need non-emergency medical transportation. With a fleet of modern helicopters and highly trained medical personnel, Calstar Helicopter is the ideal choice when it comes to air ambulance services.

The Role of Calstar Helicopter in Emergency Medical Services

Calstar Helicopter plays a crucial role in emergency medical services (EMS), providing rapid-response air ambulance transport for critically injured or ill patients. The company’s medical helicopters are equipped with the latest medical equipment to ensure the best possible care for patients during transportation. The highly trained medical personnel on board are skilled in patient stabilization and management, responding to emergency medical needs and providing specialized care during transportation. With its fleet of helicopters strategically stationed throughout California and the western United States, Calstar Helicopter is well-positioned to provide lifesaving emergency medical transportation whenever and wherever it’s needed.

Calstar Helicopter Air Ambulance Cost and Insurance Coverage

Calstar Helicopter Air Ambulance Services can be costly and is not always covered by insurance. The company accepts most major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, and works with patients to determine the most appropriate method of payment. Calstar Helicopter also offers membership plans that provide coverage for air ambulance services at a reduced rate for members. Membership fees are reasonable and can be paid annually. The company’s membership program provides peace of mind for individuals and families throughout California and beyond, knowing that they have access to emergency medical transportation when they need it most.

Calstar Helicopter FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions about Calstar Helicopter.

1. What is Calstar Helicopter?

Calstar Helicopter is an air ambulance service that provides emergency medical transportation to patients in need.

2. Is Calstar Helicopter safe?

Calstar Helicopter has an excellent safety record and adheres to strict safety standards established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

3. How many helicopters does Calstar operate?

Calstar operates a fleet of 15 helicopters located throughout California.

4. How can I request a Calstar Helicopter?

To request a Calstar Helicopter, contact your local emergency services or hospital and they will make the necessary arrangements.

5. What kind of medical equipment does Calstar Helicopter have?

Calstar Helicopter is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, including ventilators, defibrillators, and advanced life support systems.

6. How long does it take for Calstar Helicopter to arrive?

Response times vary depending on the location and availability of the nearest Calstar Helicopter. Typically, a helicopter can arrive within 15 to 30 minutes of receiving a request.

7. How much does a Calstar Helicopter flight cost?

The cost of a Calstar Helicopter flight varies depending on your insurance plan and individual circumstances. Contact Calstar Helicopter for a personalized estimate.

8. Does Calstar Helicopter accept insurance?

Calstar Helicopter accepts most major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medi-Cal. Contact Calstar Helicopter to confirm coverage and any associated costs.

9. Can I choose which hospital I am taken to?

In most cases, the destination hospital is chosen based on your medical condition and the availability of specialized care. If you have a preference, you may request to be taken to a specific hospital, but this is not always possible.

10. What should I bring with me on a Calstar Helicopter flight?

You should bring any necessary medications or medical equipment along with your ID and insurance information. You may also bring a small bag with personal items, but space is limited.

11. Can family members ride with me on the Calstar Helicopter?

Due to limited space and safety considerations, family members are typically not allowed to ride with the patient on a Calstar Helicopter flight.

12. What if I am afraid of flying?

Calstar Helicopter’s medical crew is trained to help patients who may be anxious or afraid of flying. They can offer medications and other therapies to help manage anxiety.

13. What if I am unable to pay for a Calstar Helicopter flight?

Calstar Helicopter offers financial assistance for patients who are unable to pay for their flight. Contact Calstar Helicopter for more information.

14. How can I provide feedback about my Calstar Helicopter experience?

You can provide feedback about your Calstar Helicopter experience by contacting the customer service department by phone or email. Your feedback helps Calstar Helicopter improve its services.

15. Who do I contact for more information about Calstar Helicopter?

You can contact Calstar Helicopter directly by visiting their website or calling their customer service department.

Learn more about Calstar Helicopter and its services through their website.

Flying High with Calstar Helicopter

Kind Reader, it has been a pleasure sharing with you the exciting world of Calstar Helicopter. From their exceptional medical transport services, to their commitment to safety and quality, Calstar has earned their reputation as a top-tier air medical organization. We hope you have enjoyed learning about their incredible work as much as we have enjoyed sharing it with you. Thank you for visiting and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Fly high and stay safe!

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