STARS wins top NVG excellence award
Sept. 20, 2013, Dallas, Tx. - The Night Vision Awards presented the Mark of Excellence Award to Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service foundation (STARS) of Canada at the NIGHTCON Annual Convention September 19th in Dallas, Tex. with more than 100 night vision industry operators, regulators, and companies in attendance to honor the recipient.
By Carey Fredericks
The Mark of Excellence Award recognizes a Unit/Company that signifies dedication to quality and excellence in their operation.
During the conference, Transport Canada Inspector of Flight Standards Stephane Demers ended his presentation on NVGs in Canada and spoke via SKYPE to the audience about STARS and why they exemplified The Mark of Excellence. In their nomination form Demers said, STARS has insisted on a program that mimics military precision and discipline in the usage of NVG. Their systematic and precise approach has made their program and influenced several other operators to conduct some of the safest NVG operations anywhere in the world.
Night Vision Award Sponsors Aviation Specialties Unlimited, (ASU), Night flight Concepts, (NFC), Vertical Magazine and Rotorcraft Pro Media Network presented the award to Greg Curtis from STARS.
"This was a special opportunity to have the person who nominated the award winner actually speak about why the recipient was worthy to receive the award," said Night Vision Award emcee Scott Emerine. "This was also the first time the award was presented at NightCon and the first time an international operator has won the award making the award even more unique."
STARS first made night vision history back in 2003 as the first Canadian civilian air carrier to use night vision goggle (NVG) technology when pilots flew a patient from southeastern Alberta to Calgary. Prior to this first flight the mountains were inaccessible for emergency response by our teams due to night flight restrictions within mountainous terrain. It is only with NVG that STARS is able to access the 3,353 meters high mountains of west Calgary.
Since that first mission they have dedicated themselves to safety and saving lives, according to vice president of aviation for STARS Scott Young. "Safety permeates all aspects of our culture at STARS, and we are honored to be recognized with this award," said Young. "Our NVG program reflects our commitment to safety and provides a critical tool for locating our patients in areas we could not previously operate."