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CalStar (California Shock Trauma Air Rescue). It's a heli air ambulance that will fly you from the backcountry or even from an urban interface in the event of a critical medical emergency. One would hope never, ever to have to use such a service. It is comforting to know, that for a fairly small yearly membership fee, you would be spared the cost of an exhorbitant air ride to the hospital. I believe the service area is Northern California.

I just signed up my husband and I. While the chances of needing the service for backcountry emergencies is fairly rare (He's a ski instructor and I am often traipsing around the forest), its the highways where you mostly see the heli air ambulance taking off. I think it's a small price to pay for peace of mind. I think they are non profit as well.


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Aaron Zagrodnick

Checked out the site and it looks pretty interesting. $50 a year per family isn't too steep - I guess you just have to hope that they are the main provider for the areas you like to visit!

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