CALSTAR puts safety center stage. We do not venerate high-risk or heroic behavior. In transport situations, our pilots and nurses are able to act quickly and decisively because they remain focused and alert, continually assessing all aspects of the situation at hand, and keeping an eye on one another. This keen awareness, combined with their specialized skills, results in exceptionally safe transports.
Our pilots must have at least 2,500 hours of flight time as “pilots-in-command” before joining CALSTAR, making them some of the most experienced in the industry. CALSTAR flight nurses are required to have at least three years of prior experience in an intensive care unit or emergency room. Our crews have extensive regional knowledge and are qualified under both Night Vision Goggle (NVG) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). NVGs allow our pilots to operate at night under low lunar illumination in remote areas, and IFR training increases their ability to operate safely in a variety of weather conditions. CALSTAR Aircraft Maintenance Technicians provide superior aviation support and services at all of our bases, ensuring the continued reliability and safety of our fleet.
CALSTAR’s focus on safety extends beyond transports into every aspect of our operations. While many air ambulance programs contract with an outside vendor to handle flight operations and maintenance, CALSTAR operates under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate, and is also registered as a Part 145 Certificated Repair Station (CRS). These FAA certificates set standards for such things as aircraft condition, safety procedures, record keeping, staffing and training, resulting in greater control and improved operational management.
Not only does CALSTAR practice safety, we teach it as well, providing educational programs to first responders and hospitals. Topics include helicopter operations, pre-hospital care and preparing trauma patients for transport.
Since 2001, CALSTAR has been fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). This accreditation acknowledges excellence in patient care, safety and education.