Care in the Air

LIFE STAR is a critical care helicopter service which responds to and provides air transport for a variety of patients who require care at a tertiary care facility.


The LIFE STAR critical care air medical transport service began operation in 1985.

LIFE STAR is available to all emergency/critical care patients within a 150-mile radius surrounding our bases. All tertiary care centers within this response area are serviced by LIFE STAR and approximately 1,000 patients are transported annually. LIFE STAR has transported in excess of 32,000 patients to date.

LIFE STAR has relationships with tertiary care physicians from the EMS/Trauma department at Hartford Hospital, as well as specialty physicians at receiving facilities. Consultation on patient management prior to and during transport is available to the flight crew.

The LIFE STAR service operates one American Eurocopter BK-117 and one American Eurocopter EC-145, 24 hours a day, seven days per week. One aircraft is based at MidState Medical Center in Meriden, CT. The other is based at The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, CT. The LIFE STAR crew consists of a flight nurse, flight respiratory therapist, pilot, mechanic and communication specialist.

In cooperation with Baystate Health and unified efforts with Air Methods Corporation, the LIFE STAR program has launched a third aircraft (LIFE STAR 3) which is based out of Westfield-Barnes Airfield in Westfield, MA. The crew configuration of the aircraft based at Westfield is a flight nurse, a flight paramedic and a pilot.

Each LIFE STAR helicopter can transport one patient (if there are multiple patients, FD/EMS personnel on the scene can request additional aircraft).

LIFE STAR can travel at 155 miles per hour and is airborne within minutes of a request for service.