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STARS News Release

STARS’ Saskatoon base conducting night training exercises this week

January 19, 2015

Saskatoon, SK, January 19, 2015 –Starting Jan. 19, 2015, for five nights, STARS will be conducting training flights from its base at the Saskatoon Airport. Three flights will be conducted each night from approximately 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Flights may run longer, dependent on call volumes. The higher than normal flight activity may draw attention and questions from the public.

STARS is alerting media and providing contact information in the event calls are received from residents.

A STARS pilot must have a minimum of 3,000 flying hours experience just to command a STARS helicopter. In addition, pilots are required to complete annual night flying and night vision goggle (NVG) training once a year. The exercises will focus on the departure and landing of the helicopter, use of the night vision goggles and targeted practice with a search light.

Training Information:

What: Night flying and NVG training
When: Monday, Jan. 19 – Friday, Jan. 23, 2015
Where: Training flights will take off from the STARS Saskatoon base
Time: Approximately 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. - flights might be later dependent on call volumes

Public questions can be directed to:
Barry Tolmie
Aviation Base Manager, STARS Saskatoon base
Phone: 306-242-0200

For media inquiries and interview requests contact:
Bonnie Monteith
Communications Lead, STARS Saskatchewan

About STARS’ night vision goggles (NVGs)

• All of STARS’ aircraft are equipped and certified for NVG use
• All STARS’ pilots are trained and certified in the use of night vision goggles, a technology that STARS began using in 2003
• Using NVGs increases safety by dramatically increasing a pilot’s ability to see in the dark
• Using NVGs enables greater access to patients, particularly in difficult terrain such as mountainous areas

STARS is a non-profit, helicopter air ambulance organization that provides specialized emergency medical care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. Our physicians, nurses, paramedics and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives. STARS has bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.