Magazine Covers

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Nurse Week 2009


Rotor & Wing 2006


Texas EMS 2006


Texas EMS 2006

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Air Medical Journal 2006

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Air Medical Journal 2005


Rotor & Wing 2002


J. of Air Medical Transport 1992


Temple Daily Telegram 1994


DPSOA 1986



Mission Lifeline EMS Award

American Heart Association; Gold Award 2015 – Silver Award 2014.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Higgins and Langley Memorial; 2015. Presented to Casey Ping, Travis County STAR Flight  Program Director, Texas TF1 - Water and Helicopter Rescue Manager.

Casey Ping has been a true pioneer in the technical rescue discipline of swiftwater and flood rescue since the early 1990s. Under Casey's leadership, Travis County STAR Flight  has become one of the premier helicopter based swiftwater rescue teams in the United States. And Casey has dedicated countless hours, serving as a subject matter expert on local, state, and national committees striving to improve flood and hurricane disaster preparedness, and to develop state-of-the-art swiftwater and flood rescue training protocols and mission-specific equipment. Swiftwater rescue operations are among the most dangerous missions for rescue personnel and victims alike, due to the power of moving water and the difficulty of rescuing victims who may be free-floating, stuck in a tree, or on top of a vehicle being swept downstream. As a swiftwater rescue team member, Casey has performed countless rescues of victims who owe him and his teammates their very lives.

Swiftwater Rescue Team Award

Higgins and Langley Memorial; 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011.

Education Award in Swiftwater Rescue

Higgins and Langley Memorial; 2014 – Received the Outstanding Achievement Award for STAR Flight ’s response to the Halloween flooding in October 2013

Operator Safety Award

Helicopter International Association; 2013 and 2011.

Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award

American Eurocopter and Association of Air Medical Transport Services; 2010. Received a $10,000 award for promoting safety and assisting in raising the bar for the entire air ambulance community within our program.

Operator Safety Award

Helicopter Association International; 2010. Received in recognition of STAR Flight ’s outstanding safety record of 900 plus flight hours without an incident.

Sikorsky Aircraft Rescue Award

Sikorsky/Texas National Guard; August 6, 2008. Recognized for STAR Flight ’s response to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.

EMS Air Medical Service Award

Texas Department of State Health Services; November 21, 2006.

In recognition of outstanding achievement. This award honors a public or private air medical service in Texas, a leader in the field, who has demonstrated the highest standards in providing patient care to the citizens of Texas.

Heroes of the Storm

STAR Flight  Nurse Chris Jones-Piercy recognized, The Weather Channel, Washington, D.C.; April 21, 2005.

Honoring the Americans who performed the most exciting rescues depicted in The Weather Channel’s acclaimed series Storm Stories. 28 heroes from 15 States and the District of Columbia were presented this award. The list of heroes was introduced into the Congressional Record, Volume 151, 2005 with the statement, “These heroes, like all who risk their lives for others, deserve our Nation's admiration, recognition and thanks”.

Golden Hour Award

STAR Flight  program recognized, Helicopter Association International/Eurocopter; February 11, 2003.

This award recognizes the efforts of the Air Medical Service which, through a particular rescue or through contributions over time to the air medical industry, has advanced the use of helicopters in this vital mission.

Heroism Award

A specific STAR Flight  crew recognized, Rotor & Wing Magazine; December 12, 2002.

This award honors the helicopter crews who have gone to extraordinary lengths with their aircraft and their skills to save lives. The performance of award-winning crews represents the best of the best that rotorcraft contribute to public safety.

Valor Award

Two specific STAR Flight  crews recognized, National Association of Search and Rescue; May 30, 2002.

This award is granted solely on merit to an individual or individuals selected by the Board of Directors who best represents, in their opinion, effort in the field of search and rescue that was above and beyond the call of duty, exemplifying the selfless, perhaps risky commitment to others embodied in the NASAR motto: "That Others My Live".

Update H-L Awards

Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Swift Water Rescue Award

Higgins and Langley Memorial; May 30, 2002. Program Manager for STAR Flight  & Special Operations programs recognized Austin/Travis County EMS.

This is the premier internationally-recognized award for excellence in swift water and flood rescue. It signifies an intense dedication to the field and a genuine desire to benefit the larger community responsible for the service.

Helicopter Heroism Award

Rotor & Wing Helicopter; 2002. Recognized on the cover of Rotor & Wing magazine in November 2002 for three swiftwater rescues during one night of historic flooding saving not only civilians but in two cases, endangered rescuers as well.

Team Award for Swift Water Rescue

Higgins and Langley Memorial; May 30, 2002. STAR Flight  Crews & Special Operations Teams recognized Austin/Travis County EMS.

This award recognizes the importance of team dynamics in the field of swift water rescue, the team award is awarded in cases of outstanding group dynamics or achievement.

Valor Award

National Association for Search and Rescue; 2001. Awarded for courageous and heroic efforts in the rescue of numerous victims.

Program Development in Swift Water Rescue Award

Higgins and Langley Memorial; May 1998. STAR Flight  & Special Operations programs recognized Austin/Travis County EMS.

This award honors those who have developed and implemented stellar swift water rescue programs. This award recognizes agencies that make a significant commitment to swift water and flood rescue programs in their area. This award profiles the education, training and resources to develop a successful swift water and flood rescue program.


Josh Davies | MA, CEM
County Executive

Casey Ping
Chief Deputy/Director of Emergency Medical Services/STAR Flight
(512) 854-6460

Chuck Spangler
Director of Aviation
(512) 854-3708

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