80% of STARS funding comes from public fundraising
STARS has begun its annual fundraising campaign to keep emergency helicopters in the air. Glenda Farnden, municipal relations liaison with the STARS Foundation, visited the County of St. Paul council at their January 9th meeting to provide information on the service and to solicit funding. The County committed $12,936 – equivalent to $2.00 per County resident – to continue its support.
Farnden explained that the mandate of STARS is to provide rural residents in emergency situations with timely medical aid, and with transportation to larger hospitals from smaller hospitals or directly from emergency scenes.
STARS serves 90% of the rural municipalities in Alberta, including St. Paul and area.
Missions flown in the County of St. Paul over the past 6 years are shown in the chart below:
STARS supports 6 bases in western Canada – Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg – which have 11 helicopters among them. The helicopters flew 3,022 missions in 2017, averaging 8 missions per day across the prairie provinces: 5 missions per day in Alberta alone.
Each STARS helicopter has leading edge technology on board, including ventilators, I-Stat labs, EZ-IO Drills, and ECG defibrillators. They have medications, oxygen, IV pumps, and even portable ultrasound monitors.
Highly trained medical technicians are on every flight. According to Farnden, “We are world renowned for our critical care skills.” Training is essential for these technicians, who conduct simulation exercises and who understand the communities which they serve. When necessary, fully qualified, experienced doctors join the crews to provide critical, specialized medical attention to patients. The pie chart illustrates types of missions the STARS teams have run.
The STARS Foundation looks after fundraising. Twenty percent of STARS’ Alberta funding comes from the provincial government. The rest comes from municipalities, corporate and personal donations, calendar sales, fundraising events, and the annual STARS lottery, which, enthused Farnden, has sold out for 23 consecutive years. The 2018 lottery tickets have recently gone on sale.
County of St. Paul Council members expressed their appreciation for the service that STARS provides, and dedicated $12,936 to keeping the helicopters in the air for 2018. For further information, check www.stars.ca.