STARS has been there for us. Government must be there for STARS

September 24, 2018

As Canadians, we have much to be proud of. Our Canadian values of compassion, generosity, and solidarity are best exemplified in the work of STARS Air Ambulance. The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) is a Canadian non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization funded by individual donors, service groups, corporate donors, and government contributions. STARS provides rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients.

During the Humboldt tragedy that shook our entire country, STARS was crucial in providing the much needed care to the victims. It dispatched three helicopters- two from Regina and one from Saskatoon, which went back a second time. Because of their effort, four patients were transported back to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. 

In Saskatchewan alone, STARS has flown more than 5000 missions to more than 500 communities. On average, STARS embark on 8 daily missions, with roughly 3000 missions a year. Since 1985, STARS has flown over 40,000 missions. It is safe to conclude that thousands of lives were saved as a direct result of their efforts.

After decades of providing life-saving support to Canadians, STARS Air Ambulance needs to update its fleet. In order to continue to provide the much needed support, STARS must replace its roster of choppers , which are now 34 years old so as to remain at the top of the game when responding to medical emergencies.

However, the cost of a single aircraft is estimated at $13 million. And while Canadians understand the importance of STARS as over half of their funding comes from donations, fundraising and the STARS lottery, the Canadian government must also realize how crucial their survival is. The federal government must be willing to help update the STARS fleet. After decades of being there for Canadians, it’s time the Canadian government is there for STARS.

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