NorthStar Ambulance

EMT ResponseNorthStar is the regional ambulance service for Greater Franklin County. As part of the Franklin Community Health Network family, NorthStar’s 75 EMS professionals follow their mission of respectful patient care, positive community activities, good stewardship of resources and excellent patient care. This mission is evident throughout NorthStar’s operations with 5,000 calls a year to the 71 communities over the 2,800 square miles it proudly serves. With state-of-the-art equipment and modern ambulances, the service is ready, responsive and reliable.

Situated among the beautiful western Maine mountains, NorthStar is dispatched out of five base locations strategically positioned throughout the region.  NorthStar responds to calls ranging from medical emergencies to auto accidents, from snowmobile to ATV rescues, from nursing home transfers to boating accidents. NorthStar’s extensive community service activities round out the professionalism of its service and its staff.

We welcome inquiries about our services, how we can do more in your community, and how to join our exciting organization.

Our Mission

Interior of ambulance

"The professionals of NorthStar will adhere to the highest standards of respectful patient care, engage in positive community activities, and exercise good stewardship of our resources, all in the pursuit of excellence."

NorthStar Facts

  • Employs 75 - 80 EMTs (including 30+ Paramedics, 25+ Intermediates, 20+ Basics)
  • Has opportunities for Full Time, Part Time, PRN; 24/16,12/12/12, 24/8/8, 40 hour shifts
  • Covers 2,763 square miles (1,768,506 acres!) of mostly rural territory (8.3% of Maine)
  • Operates 11 Type III ambulances and 2 Paramedic Intercept Vehicles ("Fly Cars")
  • Serves 71 communities in Northwestern Maine
  • Coverage area includes all of Franklin County and parts of Oxford, Somerset, Androscoggin, and Kennebec counties
  • Has a Bike Team used prominently at community events
  • Boasts the highest ratio of Wilderness EMTs (WEMTs) in the state
  • Has a paramedic on scene on every ALS emergency call
  • Has a GPS unit in every emergency vehicle
  • The successor of Community Emergency Services (CES), LifeStar, AMPS, Rangeley Ambulance and Sugarloaf Rescue

Contact Northstar

Mike Senecal, Director
Tel: (207) 779-2400
Fax: (207) 779-2477
Email: msenecal@fchn.org

Bases

Livermore on Route 4
119 Federal Rd., Livermore, ME 04253
(207) 897-3611

Farmington on the FMH Campus
Stanley Building, 111 Franklin Health Commons, Farmington, ME 04938
(207) 779-2402

Phillips on Park Street
138C Park St. Phillips, ME 04966
(207) 639-3830

Rangeley in the Doak Public Safety Building
15 School St., Rangeley, ME 04970
(207) 864-0938

Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley
1003 Carriage Rd., Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947
(207) 235-2228


































 

Community Services

NorthStar crews are involved in thousands of hours of community service each year. CPR trainings, bicycle safety rodeos, presentations at area schools, and mock accident scenes are just a few of the ways that NorthStar contributes back to the community.

Lifeline Program

NorthStar offers Lifeline installations and support to clients in and around the NorthStar coverage area. Information about our program can be found below.

Who is Lifeline? Lifeline Systems Inc., based in Framingham, Mass, is the premier personal telephone response company in the country. It has certified, trained, caring professionals ready to respond to a subscriber’s need 24/7.

How does Lifeline work? After NorthStar installs the equipment (which takes about 1/2 hour), the subscriber wears a waterproof "Personal Help Button" on either a wristband or as a pendant. If there is an emergency or other need, the subscriber simply presses the button. The Lifeline Home Unit dials Lifeline and the Lifeline representative immediately responds through a speaker on the unit. After assessing the situation, Lifeline then contacts either a local friend or relative or immediately summons a NorthStar ambulance, local law enforcement, or fire department.

Who gets called? During the installation process, the NorthStar representative will help the subscriber complete a "Subscriber Data Form". In addition to the normal name and address information, they will also record the names and phone numbers of the first, second, and third choice of contacts in addition to the emergency numbers (fire, ambulance, police). These contacts may be a friend, neighbor, or relative that might be called at the request of the subscriber or in addition to any emergency response. An example of a call to a non-emergency contact may be one where the subscriber needs assistance getting out of bed in the morning or a fall where the client is not hurt, just needs some assistance getting up.

More about the Personal Help Button? The button, worn on the wrist or around the neck, is small, lightweight and easy to press. It is completely waterproof so it can be worn at all times, even in the bath or shower where falls often occur. It has a range of up to 500 feet depending on the house structure and other obstacles. The pendant is stylish and can be worn outside or underneath a garment.

What is the cost of the program? Installation for the normal system is a one-time fee of $30. NorthStar’s current monthly charge is $39.50 for the Home Unit Communicator, Personal Help Button and 24/7 response. Just a little more than a dollar a day. This monthly charge can also be paid annually ($474.00) or by credit card. NorthStar will waive the installation charge if the fee is paid annually. Installation charges may be waived under other circumstances as well. Other features such as a separate telephone unit, additional subscribers in the home, or an inactivity alarm are available for an additional charge. Unfortunately, Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies do not cover this program but a subscription makes an excellent gift from a loved one. Service for broken equipment or battery replacement is provided at no charge by NorthStar.

Yes, I want Lifeline. What now? Call Lifeline, toll free, at 1-800-242-1306, ext. 4706 or leave a message at NorthStar Lifeline at 491-5444. Either the Lifeline or NorthStar representative will explain features or answer questions and set up the installation. Because installations are done by active duty NorthStar crew who may be called out for emergencies, installation times may need to be flexible. Every attempt will be made to arrive at the appointed time. Installation takes about one-half hour and includes testing the equipment, explaining all features, signing agreements, and collecting the installation fee (if applicable) and the prorated amount of the current month’s fee. The crew won’t leave until the new subscriber is comfortable with the system. It is often helpful if a neighbor or relative participates during the installation process.

Careers at NorthStar

Thank you for your interest in NorthStar. If you are considering working for NorthStar as part of our full-time, part-time or PRN (per diem) staff, please consider the following:

  • For any of our EMT positions, you must have a valid, current Maine EMT license at the level posted. For a driver position, the EMT license is not required
  • For Paramedic positions, you must, in addition to a Maine EMT-P or NREMT-P license, also have PIFT certificate. ACLS and PALS certificate strongly desirable (and, in some cases, required.)
  • You must have a current CPR card.
  • You must have completed and passed a Ambulance Vehicle Operator's Course (AVOC). This may be waived subject to passing this course within the first 6 months of hire.
  • You must have a valid driver's license and a satisfactory driving record.
  • You must satisfactorily complete all required pre-employment screens (which include a physical exam and certain agility/strength tests).

For those not currently an EMT but interested in becoming an EMT, we suggest that you contact TriCounty EMS at (207) 795-2880. Joanne and the staff at that office can give you information on how to apply for Basic courses, provide schedules and applications for courses, and all the requirements for becoming a part of the Emergency Medical Technician family.

Service Area

  • Avon
  • Carrabassett Valley
  • Chesterville
  • Coplin Plantation
  • Dallas Plantation
  • Eustis
  • Industry
  • Farmington
  • Franklin County Unorganized Territories of: Alder Stream, Beattie, Chain of Ponds, Coburn Gore, Davis, Freeman, Gorham Gore, Jim Pond, Kibby, Lang, Lowell-Town, Madrid, Massachusetts Gore, Merrill Strip, Mt Abram, Perkins, Redington, Salem, Seven Ponds, Skinner, Stetson-Town, Tim Pond, Township D, Township E, Township North of Weld, Washington, Wyman
  • Highland Plantation
  • Jay
  • Kingfield
  • Lincoln Plantation
  • Livermore
  • Livermore Falls
  • New Portland
  • New Sharon
  • New Vineyard
  • Oxford County Unorganized Territories of: Bowmantown, Parmachenee, Oxbow, Lynchtown, Upper Cupsuptic, Lower Cupsuptic, Parkertown, Adamstown, and Richardsontown
  • Phillips
  • Rangeley
  • Rangeley Plantation
  • Sandy River Plantation
  • Somerset County Unorganized Territories of: Lexington, Bigelow, Dead River, Carrying Place Town, Spring Lake, Flagstaff, King and Bartlett, Pierce Pond, T3R5BKPWKR
  • Strong
  • Temple
  • Vienna
  • Weld
  • Wilton

Bike Medic Team

The NorthStar Bike Medic Team is a key part of NorthStar's system. The Bike Team is fully equipped with state-of-the-art bicycles and supplies to carry high quality medical care into the field.  The team shines at community festivals, bike events, and wherever a team of EMTs need to be in the middle of a crowd. The team also brings its message of bike safety and fun to elementary school classes and school bike teams as well as hosting Bike Rodeos in several towns in the area. Arrayed in their safety green uniforms, you'll agree that this team is one of the best bike teams in the state... Ready, responsive and reliable for any situation.

Backcountry Medical Team

NorthStar Backcountry Medical Response Team is charged with responding to ill and injured persons in an off-road environment in the forests, mountains, lakes and rivers within the NorthStar EMS response area, and, in collaboration with the Maine Warden Service and other wilderness rescue responders, providing public education as well as emergency medical care using the highest level of wilderness prehospital care providers available.

Advisory Board

Members

John Bogar, Chair
Terry Bell, Sr.
Dave Cota
Richard Davis
John Dill
Mike Luciano
Stacie Rundlett
Kurt Schaub
Leeanna Wilbur

The Advisory Board is organized as a committee of the Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) Board of Directors and consists of up to 15 members including at least one member of the Board of Directors of FMH and the President of FMH ex officio with vote. The municipalities participating in the Service have the right to nominate candidates for membership to the Advisory Board. The Municipality may submit nominees to the President of FMH for consideration and potential election by the FMH Board of Directors. When selecting from among nominees for election to the Advisory Board, candidates will be elected to represent the geographic area served by the Service who are knowledgeable of the Service and the needs of the municipalities it serves. Except for the President of FMH, employees of FMH shall not be eligible to serve as members of the Advisory Board. Members of the Advisory Board shall serve for terms of three (3) years and may be reelected to subsequent terms of service. When electing individuals to serve on the Advisory Board, the initial terms of office shall be structured so that approximately one-third of the terms of the members of the Advisory Board shall expire annually. The Advisory Board shall monitor the operation of the Service provided by FMH as a whole and it shall make recommendations to the FMH Board of Directors concerning policy decisions effecting operation of the Service upon which the Board of Directors has requested the advice of the Advisory Board.

New appointments to the Advisory Board are generally made following the annual meeting of the FMH Board of Directors held each October. The FMH Board of Director member of the NorthStar Advisory Board will chair the Advisory Board and act as a liaison with the FMH Board of Directors. The Director of NorthStar will staff the Advisory Board and the Office of the President will be responsible for organizing meetings.

The NorthStar Advisory Board meets quarterly.

The NorthStar Advisory Board shall review NorthStar’s performance, including monitoring quality of care and service effectiveness from the perspective of patients, the communities served and emergency room providers. The Board shall make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding long-term strategies and goals, annual operating and capital budgets, and the rationale and formula(s) for dividing public support costs between the municipalities served.

Subsidy Information

Information about town support funding for NorthStar

Every one of the towns served by NorthStar help to support the operations of the ambulance service. Many ask, however, just how this support is determined and where the money goes. This page will try to describe what the money is all about.

When NorthStar transports a patient, the patient’s insurance (or Medicare or Medicaid or the patient themselves) is billed. NorthStar receives the income from these bills. With very few exceptions, it is only when a patient is transported that NorthStar receives any income. In part, this no-transport-no-fee is a community service but, more importantly, Medicare and every insurance company will pay only when there is a transport. If medication is given, NorthStar may charge a patient even if they are not transported. There is a small amount of other income from donations, event charges, and conference sponsorship.

All this income from patients, insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and donations is not enough to cover the expenses for the type of service that our communities want and expect. In fact, this income only covers about four-fifths of the expenses.

That difference - between all the income and all the expenses - is the subsidy. The amount of this subsidy allows NorthStar to break even each year - no loss, no gain.

In 2006, the Board affirmed a methodology for allocating the subsidy for the fiscal year that began in July 2007. This formula includes elements of population, housing units, residential valuation, and distance from the center of NorthStar’s population area. The Board and NorthStar have kept this same basic formula (with some minor adjustments) every year since that time.

So, the "simple" answer is: the subsidy money helps assure the continuing presence of an ambulance service that is ready to respond 24/7/365 with highly trained, well equipped and professional staff in well maintained, state-of-the-art ambulances achieving reasonable response times throughout the 2,800 square miles that NorthStar serves.

Your subsidy support allows NorthStar to give you the powerful backup capabilities of a regional ambulance service and yet keep a local community focus. NorthStar is not only ready to respond to any emergency but is there to help in your neighborhood schools, visit the shut-ins down the street, install Lifeline services at your mom’s place, and offer free blood pressure and other educational clinics in your town. We are there for you.

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