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STARS News Release

STARS air ambulance landing planned in Winnipeg

October 27, 2011

October 27, Winnipeg, MB - Media and the public are invited to watch the STARS air ambulance helicopter land at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, October 28 at the Victoria Hotel, 1808 Wellington Avenue, just east of the airport as part of the provincial EMS conference, InterAct.

STARS crew members will be available to speak with media and provide the public with a look inside the fully equipped emergency air ambulance.

“InterAct 2011 is extremely pleased that STARS will have a presence at this year's conference, as a sponsor, a displayer on the trade floor, providing an educational session, and by landing their helicopter at the conference,” says Winnipeg paramedicPaul Nairn, organizing committee member with InterAct.

"We have experienced very positive working relationships with Manitoba's emergency medical services, health care providers, other emergency services and government representatives," says pilot Jon Gogan, STARS Winnipeg base director. “By participating in the InterAct conference we hope to become even more familiar with Manitoba's chain of survival, to further enable us to work together toward providing rapid care and transportation to critically ill and injured patients."

STARS may cancel the planned landing if the crew needs to respond to an emergency, or if there are poor flying conditions.

For more information

Cam Heke
Manager, Media & Public Relations/
External Affairs and Communications
Media: 1-866-966-8277

Paul Nairn
InterAct organizing committee
(204) 391-2799


  • InterAct is an EMS (emergency medical services) educational conference held annually in Manitoba.It is aimed at paramedics, 911 communications staff, and EMS managers and educators.
  • STARS has responded to more than 100 emergencies since arriving in Manitoba in April 2011.
  • STARS is a community-based non-profit charitable organization.
  • STARS was initially contracted to provide flood related emergency service from April 1 to May 31, 2011, however, that contract had been extended.
  • The province of Manitoba and STARS signed a memorandum of understanding on June 28, 2011 meant to facilitate future discussions and work toward a permanent helicopter air ambulance program in Manitoba.
  • STARS first responded to Manitoba for a limited contract during spring flooding in 2009.
  • STARS currently operates across three bases in Alberta, providing emergency service coverage to approximately 94 per cent of Alberta's population, and areas of eastern BC.
  • STARS is opening bases in Saskatoon and Regina in 2012.
  • STARS responded to 1,453 emergencies in Alberta in 2010, and more than 21,000 since it began in 1985.
  • STARS has operated from a Calgary base since 1985, Edmonton since 1991, and Grande Prairie since 2006.
  • STARS flight crews consist of a pilot, a co-pilot, and a nurse and paramedic experienced in critical care. The STARS team is supported on the ground with aircraft engineers. The team operates within an intensive care environment in the helicopter with equipment typically found in a hospital intensive care unit
  • All STARS helicopters are rotary wing Eurocopter BK117 models. The aircraft is well suited to air ambulance duties because of its high performance, rotor design, most poor weather capabilities, and its rear clamshell doors. The STARS fleet is also equipped with night vision goggle capabilities and is the only civilian night vision goggle program to regularly fly in mountainous terrain in Canada.
  • All STARS captains have a minimum of 3,000 flight hours before they start with STARS. They also receive a full day of ground school learning to use night-vision goggles, which includes a simulator class. The pilots work full time at our bases and are Air Transport Licensed and all STARS pilots are Instrument Flying Rated.