Faces of STARS in Saskatchewan
Jon Antal, Flight Paramedic and Community Education Leader
What do you do if you want to work for STARS but you don’t want to leave your home province? Luckily for Jon Antal, he just had to wait a few years.
Jon has spent his entire EMS career in Regina, starting as an EMT in 1995 and then graduating as an advanced care paramedic from SIAST in 1998. However, seeing STARS in action during an EMS ride along in Calgary fostered a strong desire in him to work for the organization.
The problem? STARS was not yet operating in Saskatchewan, and as Jon puts it, “you’re never gonna get me out of this province.” When STARS announced plans to open bases in Saskatoon and his hometown of Regina, he leapt at the opportunity.
Jon will split his time at STARS as both a flight paramedic and also a community education leader for the Regina base. This position will allow him to deliver the outreach training program to our community partners such as firefighters, police officers, and other first responders who may be called upon to assist in STARS missions by securing landing zones and assisting with landings.
While working for STARS, Jon will remain active as an instructor in the paramedic program at SAIST and as a casual paramedic with Regina EMS.
Dr. Terry Ross, STARS Regina Base Medical Director
No one likes to get a bug, but when Dr. Terry Ross, the new Medical Director for STARS Regina Base caught the bug, he was thrilled.
“When I interviewed and met with the STARS team in Calgary, I caught the STARS bug”, Terry confesses. He did not know a lot about STARS prior to the April 2011 announcement of its role in emergency medical transport in Saskatchewan but what struck him was “how excited everyone is, every day, about what they do. Whether I was talking to one of the pilots, an emergency flight nurse, paramedic or one of the team from the STARS Emergency Link Centre, their passion for what they do and unwavering focus to do what is best for the patient told me this is where I want to put my skills and training as an emergency physician.”
In January, Dr. Ross accepted the position of Medical Director for the STARS base in Regina. Over the next few months, he will be working with his new team to prepare for the opening in spring 2012. Terry will continue practicing as an emergency physician in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region as he believes practicing and keeping current in his field will contribute to the best possible outcomes for emergency and trauma patients.
While nervous, like anyone moving to a new position, after 12 years as an “emerg doc”, Terry knows that no one day will be the same, which is what attracted him to emergency medicine over other specialties he was contemplating as an intern in 1996. In addition, his training and experience as an instructor in advanced cardiac (ACLS) and advance pediatric (PALS) life support will bring invaluable expertise to the Regina base.