Trauma Star Air Ambulance
Monroe County operates an emergency air-ambulance helicopter called Trauma Star. Trauma Star is jointly operated by Monroe County Fire Rescue and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.
Trauma Star is based in Marathon and is staffed around the clock to be ready for launch at a moment’s notice. Trauma Star’s primary mission is to provide emergency helicopter transportation for individuals who are critically injured either by natural causes such as heart attacks or stroke, or by other causes such as a vehicle crash or criminal action.
Trauma Star’s response is initiated through the emergency 911 system, and the helicopter often times will land at the accident scene to provide the quickest response to qualified medical facilities in south Florida.
Monroe County Residents
As a resident or property owner of Monroe County, you have the option of requesting Trauma Star for air ambulance transportation and you may qualify for a waiver of the out-of-pocket costs related to air-transport fees as per Resolution Number 188-2015 (PDF). View the application form for the resident fee waiver (PDF). If you qualify for the resident fee waiver, Monroe County will continue to seek reimbursement from any private insurance companies, but any remaining unpaid fees would be waived and there would be no out of pocket expenses.
Types of Transports
If you have a severe auto accident or suffer any severe trauma, Trauma Star will fly you from your location directly to a Level One Trauma Center in approximately 45 minutes from anywhere in the Keys, including the Dry Tortugas. If you are having a heart attack or brain attack (stroke) and call 911, Trauma Star will fly you from your location directly to a fully staffed cardiac or stroke treatment center on the mainland. There are no trauma, therapeutic cardiac, or neurosurgical service centers within the Florida Keys.
In addition to the primary mission of providing critical trauma-related transports, Trauma Star also assists local hospitals by providing hospital-to-hospital transfers. If you are at an area hospital and require a critical care interfacility hospital transport, you or your representative can request the services of Trauma Star through the hospital staff (provided you meet the State of Florida interfacility transfer guidelines).
Monroe County Trauma Star is committed to providing the highest quality air ambulance transport care. Trauma Star is staffed with highly-trained flight nurses, flight Firefighter/Paramedics, and helicopter pilots. Hiring requirements exceed industry standards and Trauma Star’s safety record is exemplary.
The twin engine Sikorsky cruises at 150 knots, making it the fastest rotor craft in the Florida Keys. The Trauma Star helicopter is fully configured to carry two critical patients, and the Trauma Star program has been recognized by the State of Florida and the FAA as professional and fully compliant with all regulatory standards.
For more information about Trauma Star or the Resident Fee Waiver Program, contact Monroe County Fire Rescue at 305-289-6010.