Two bases, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
08.01.2013The one-year anniversary gathering at the Regina base was planned perfectly, from the elected officials on the invite list, to the thank-you speeches and the extra dozen crew members who stopped in on their day off to help celebrate the special occasion.
What STARS staff didn’t plan for during the springtime celebration, however, was serendipity. Or the emotional reaction that came after.
Just as the formal program was getting under way, the tones sounded, alerting the crew that the helicopter was needed for an emergency. As the crew geared up and prepared for the mission, the bustling room fell silent.
“It was a memorable moment for many reasons,” said Ron Dufresne, vice president of Saskatchewan operations. “When the guests went outside to witness the helicopter take off with our crew on a mission to care for someone who needed us, there was a lot of emotion.”
While Premier Brad Wall kneeled down at the fence and recorded the launch with his phone, Health Minister Dustin Duncan was visibly moved to see an organization his government supports spring to action.
“Watching the STARS crew deploy on an urgent mission is something that I will never forget. Everyone in the room knew that, out there somewhere in our province, one of our citizens needed critical help and STARS was on its way,” said Duncan.
From the first mission near Regina on May 1 to the nearly 300 patients we’ve cared for since, the past year has been a busy one for STARS in Saskatchewan. The bases in Regina and Saskatoon are both operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, more than 4,000 partners have participated in landing zone training sessions across the province and the first lottery raised $1.6 million.
Dufresne said becoming an integral part of the chain of survival and communities in Saskatchewan has been an honour.
“It’s been humbling to feel the warm embrace from rural and remote communities,” said Dufresne. “We are looking forward to the future and continuing to be here for the people of Saskatchewan.”