Helicopters Magazine

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STARS Air Ambulance celebrates 25 years

October 4, 2010  By Carey Fredericks

Oct. 4, 2010, Calgary - It was an emotional celebration of community support for the Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS), as the non-profit organization celebrated 25 years of care in the air on Saturday, October 2, 2010.      

A new “Thank You” logo was unveiled on
the organization’s Eurocopter BK117 helicopters in front of event
attendees and dozens of former patients, including Kelly Hulstein, the
first patient flown by STARS as a premature baby on December 1, 1985.


“This event and logo recognize the
tremendous contributions the community has made to STARS over 25 years,”
said Dr. Greg Powell, STARS President and CEO. “We have flown nearly
20,000 missions since 1985, and every flight has been made possible
thanks to the generosity of our donors and support from community



Unveiling events took place at STARS
bases in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, with STARS crew members
celebrating alongside STARS donors, volunteers, and community partners.
Government guests, representatives from Alberta Health Services, and
representatives from other emergency services were also in attendance.
STARS third and newest base, located in Grande Prairie, Alberta, will
host a similar event in mid-October.


“STARS is a bright point of excellence
in health care,” said Mr. Ken Hughes, Board Chair, Alberta Health
Services. “The organization’s success is a testament to how the spirit
of generosity, and community engagement, can drive innovation and
leadership in emergency medical services.”


STARS relies on community support with
approximately 75 per cent of STARS mission funding coming from
individual and corporate donations, and community support.


The rotary air ambulance program,
initially named Lions Air Ambulance Service, was established in 1985 as a
result of medical community concerns that Alberta had a 50 per cent
higher death rate due to trauma when compared to other leading Canadian
trauma centres. STARS began as the first non-government, charitable
non-profit, physician driven helicopter emergency medical service in


Today, STARS is a recognized leader in
critical patient care, rapid transportation, and emergency medical
training and education. STARS responds with five helicopters, including
two located in Edmonton, two in Calgary and one in Grande Prairie. STARS
serves 94 per cent of Alberta’s population 24 hours-a-day, flew 1,368
missions in 2009 and has flown 19,940 since 1985.


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