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STARS News Release

STARS ready to respond 2014 Victoria Day long weekend

May 15, 2013

ALBERTA, May 15, 2013 – STARS is reminding Albertans to be cautious while enjoying recreational activities this summer, including all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use, horseback riding and driving motorcycles.

“Our patients never expect terrible events to happen,” says STARS Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer Mike Lamacchia. “Planning ahead and considering all potential risks will help you avoid a flight in the back of a STARS helicopter.”

In 2012, STARS responded to 1,539 emergencies in Alberta, including 170 related to recreational activities. The top three recreational activities STARS responded to in 2012 include:

  • 51 ATV emergencies (37 quad and 14 dirt bike incidents);
  • 38 motorcycle emergencies;
  • 26 horseback riding emergencies.

All recreational related emergencies STARS responded to in 2012 are listed at the bottom of this release. Media can arrange interview opportunities with a STARS team member by calling the media line at 1-866-966-8277.

Tips to stay safe:

  • Wear safety gear, especially a helmet when engaged in activities that have a risk of head injury.
  • Ensure you have the proper training and education to operate ATVs before using them.
  • Do not operate ATVs while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (including prescription drugs that may cause impairment).
  • Insist that everyone wear lifejackets when in a boat.
  • When in remote areas inform someone about your location and anticipated departure and arrival times.
  • Drive the speed limit. Motorcyclists traveling at high speeds are more likely to sustain high velocity head and chest injuries when collisions occur, even when wearing protective gear.


STARS is a non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization that provides rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. Our doctors, nurses, paramedics, and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives. STARS operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week from bases in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Winnipeg.

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For more information:

Cam Heke
Media: 1-866-966-8277

STARS responses to recreational emergencies in 2012:

  • 51 All-terrain vehicles (37 quading and 14 dirt biking incidents)
  • 38 Motorcycle
  • 26 Horseback riding
  • 15 Skiing and snowboarding
  • 5 Boating
  • 5 Animal attacks (grizzly bear, two bull attacks, cow, and moose)
  • 4 Rock climbing
  • 4 Snowmobiling
  • 4 Falls during recreational activities
  • 3 Bicycling
  • 3 Skateboarding
  • 2 Baseball
  • 1 Buried in sand
  • 1 Hockey
  • 1 Scooter
  • 1 Skating
  • 1 Sky diving
  • 1 Hiking
  • 1 Propane explosion
  • 1 Hot oil burns
  • 1 Jump from a bridge into water
  • 1 Swimming