LIFE STAR | Safety Information

Safety is everyone's responsibility.

Establishing a Landing Zone
The landing zone should be at least 75 feet X 85 feet, relatively flat, and free of overhead obstructions. Inform LIFE STAR of any obstacles near the landing zone (trees, power lines, antennas, cranes, etc.)

Marking the Landing Zone
By day, a landing zone may be marked by orange cones or flares at each corner, a strobe light, or by a ground cover of contrasting color (this must be removed prior to landing). At night, a single strobe light, or a road flare in each corner of the landing zone is helpful. Never direct spotlights, white strobes, or flash photography toward LIFE STAR, as this will impair the crew's night vision.

Securing the Area
Secure the landing zone to prevent unauthorized persons from approaching LIFE STAR. Keep the landing zone clear of loose articles and hazardous debris. Protect yourself and your patient from rotor downwash.

Keep well clear of the landing zone when LIFE STAR is approaching and taking off. Wear eye protection, and, if the landing zone is very dusty, consider wetting down the area if possible.

Approaching LIFE STAR
Do not approach LIFE STAR unless requested by the flight crew. If you are requested to approach LIFE STAR, stay within the pilot's field of vision. (see diagram) The tail rotor is invisible when spinning - never approach the tail area.

Follow the directions of the flight crew when assisting near LIFE STAR.

Carry equipment horizontally, below your waist level - never upright or over your shoulder. Always carry stretcher in a forward facing position, standing upright at all times. No smoking inside or within 100 feet of LIFE STAR!

Who can request LIFE STAR?

Any EMS person who is responding to the scene and is certified by OEMS:

  • Fire Personal
  • MRT, EMT all levels
  • Nurse or Physician

Guidelines for Requesting LIFE STAR

Mechanism of Injury

  • Fall from over 20 feet
  • Apparent high speed impact
  • Ejection from vehicle
  • Death of another passenger
  • Passenger with multiple injuries
  • Major vehicle deformity- outside/inside
  • Vehicle rollover
  • Pedestrian struck at speed >20mph

Physiologic Factors

  • Systolic BP <90 mmHG
  • RR <10 >29
  • Respiratory Distress (drowning, fire)
  • Pulse <60 >110
  • Cardiac Event with unstable vital signs
  • Hypothermia/Hyperthemia
  • Anaphylaxis
  • High Risk Pregnancy / Complications
  • GCS <12

Situational Factors

  • Prolonged Extrication
  • Increased Travel Time
  • Rural of Isolated Area
  • Medical or Community Disaster

Anatomic Factors

  • GSW to Head, Neck, Chest, Abdomen, or Groin
  • Penetrating Injury to above
  • Severe Burns: >15% of BSA
  • Burns to Face and Neck
  • Possible Spinal Cord Injury
  • Amputation
  • Fracture of 2 or more Long Bones

When to request LIFESTAR

  • When the patient looks bad or the source of injury is impressive
  • The aircraft can always turn around
  • Work within local Fire/EMS protocols
  • Request should be made as soon as possible

Dispatch Initiated Auto Launch (D.I.A.L.)

EMS agencies and dispatch centers can work with LIFE STAR to set up a D.I.A.L. (Dispatch Initiated Auto Launch) program available in which the aircraft can be automatically launched to scene based on first responder criteria. The aircraft can be cancelled if the patient ultimately does not meet transport criteria but offers the advantage of mobilizing an additional resource early on in the patient’s treatment plan.

LIFE STAR will also work in cooperation with FD/EMS and requesting agencies to conduct a modified scene or scene intercept in which the helicopter will land at a designated hospital helipad at a non-tertiary facility and take report directly from EMS so the patient can be brought directly to a facility that offers definitive care.

Also in this Section


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

Safety Information

Guidelines for health and emergency personnel for when LIFE STAR is on the way.

Our Team

The crew consists of a flight nurse, flight respiratory therapist, pilot, mechanic, and communication specialist.


Find answers to LIFE STAR's most frequently asked questions.

Resources & Tools

Find extra information and forms to utilize LIFE STAR.


Research and Education are important in all LIFE STAR roles.