STARS celebrates 10,000 missions in Saskatchewan
THE familiar red helicopter stars have helped save lives in Saskatchewan for more than a decade. The air ambulance service recently reached the 10,000 mission milestone in the province.
“In late December of 2023, we reached our 10,000 mission milestone which is very important but at the same time it would not be possible without the support of all communities across Saskatchewan,” said Darcy McKay, the provincial director in STARS.
The 10,000th mission comes about two years after an event marking the 10th anniversary of STARS saw patients who survived the service talk about what their flight meant.
“After 10 years I was able to celebrate many things, my children are growing up,” said former patient Carrie Derin.
There have been changes in the last decade. The original helicopters were replaced with new ones and more equipment and supplies were on board.
“From getting blood, ultrasound, it’s constantly growing so you’re constantly learning – which is a good thing,” McKay said.
Communication with medical professionals on the ground has also been improved.
“Before we were just radioing or using a cellphone at the scene to talk to our transport medic and now we can send what we see to that transport medic,” McKay explained.
Whether it’s an electrocardiogram or an ultrasound – the medical staff on the ground have the ability to follow along with the STARS crew in step.
“What we’re bringing … makes everything faster and smoother and it opens doors to where the patient needs to go.”
STARS flies about 1,000 missions per year. Now that it has passed the 10,000 mark, STAR believes it has done so in almost every community in Saskatchewan.