RedSTAR is the volunteer wilderness special operations unit of Kentucky’s Powell County Ambulance Service in the Red River Gorge. Comprised of professional EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses, and Physicians who donate their time and skills, RedSTAR supplies wilderness-capable medical providers to the exceptional Powell County Search and Rescue Team. RedSTAR is also available to adjoining counties when requested.
We’re not a search and rescue team, nor are we a technical rope rescue team, though our members are highly skilled in those functions. Those responsibilities fall to the Powell County Search and Rescue Team, and our members are trained to operate safely in those settings to support them. We do not conduct searches for lost persons, but we’re trained to provide medical support to search operations and to care for found subjects. We do not set up rigging to rescue fall victims, but we’re trained to rappel or be lowered to subjects found over the edge. We are experts in front country and back country medicine, and we’re “wilderness all-hazards” capable.
RedSTAR was organized in 2015 by veterans of Kentucky’s Search and Rescue and EMS communities, and became operational in 2017 through action of the Powell County Fiscal Court. Though we draw members from healthcare agencies throughout the commonwealth, we are an official unit of Powell County government under the auspices of Powell County Ambulance Service.