Coaldale firefighters and PennSTAR 5 crew, out of the Carbon County Base in Lehighton, took part in joint landing drills recently at the St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital helicopter landing pad.

Firefighters learned many aspects of working with a medical support and transport helicopter, such as preparations, lifts and carries, loading, night-vision goggle usage scenarios, unloading and other technical intricacies of working around a helicopter.

PennSTAR tries to limit the time on the ground to less than six minutes

On average, the Carbon crew responds to one to two missions a day, which usually result in four lift-offs per mission.

Some people call the PennSTAR helicopter a flying ICU due to the amount of gear available on board and the level of training the crew has to learn.

PennSTAR is a not-for-profit medical helicopter service operating in the Delaware Valley and can reach all parts of Delaware, New Jersey, central Pennsylvania and southern New York in 30 minutes or less.

PennSTAR routinely provides firefighter training to ensure better and safer care of the injured.