From one vision, more than 500 missions: STARS reaches several milestones in Manitoba
08.01.2013One year ago, the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) was virtually unknown in Manitoba households. After providing emergency medical evacuations during the floods in 2009 and 2011, the helicopter air ambulance service was asked by the government to stay and continue offering timely care and transport to Manitobans. Soon after, in February 2012, the non-profit celebrated as it signed a 10-year service agreement with the province. Since, STARS has responded to more than 540 medical emergencies in 67 different communities – an average of one mission a day.
Betty Lou Rock, vice-president of Manitoba operations, said it’s rewarding to be part of an efficient chain of survival across the province. “We are honoured to be able to offer this service to the residents of Manitoba,” said Rock. “Entering people’s lives in a time of crisis is a huge responsibility and privilege.” Rock noted that STARS is one link in a complex chain of survival.
“We are lucky to have such great partners in the health-care system and the other emergency responders with whom we work so closely,” she said. “We continue to be humbled by the community support shown to us.”
Between ongoing medical and flight crew training, fundraising and caring for patients, it’s been a busy time at the base. In April, STARS launched 24-hour operations from Winnipeg, allowing crews to respond to emergencies after the sun sets, utilizing night vision goggle technology. In June, STARS launched its inaugural lottery, offering Manitobans a chance to win luxurious prizes - and the knowledge that their support can help save lives for people working, playing and travelling in the province.
The STARS lottery is an integral part of fundraising initiatives.
“Every ticket sold can help change someone’s life forever,” said Rock.