it takes a
to save a life

STARS is one link in a complex chain of survival. We rely on the expertise and skills of helpers, including police, firefighters, EMS, medical staff and others to bring timely care and transport to the critically ill and injured. From first responders, skilled dispatchers and critical care teams at hospitals to donors and volunteers, we all work together. It takes a community to save a life.

STARS flew 3,084 missions from our six bases in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
That's an average of eight missions per day
Mobile Education Program visited 88 communities, training 1,457 medical professionals

Before Kyla Hrebenik was carried by STARS she believed in the service – never thinking she would need it herself. Indeed, as our air medical crew loaded her injured body onto the helicopter she said proudly: “You will be happy to know I buy STARS Lottery tickets every year.”

Despite her terrific sense of humour, the day of Kyla’s injury was a tough one for so many. While out riding ATVs with friends and family near the small southeastern community of Willowbrook, SK, Kyla’s machine rolled down a steep hill. In an impulsive attempt to stop the vehicle, she stuck her foot out, immediately regretting the move as the ATV slammed down on it.

With help from fire fighters and paramedics from Melville who were first on scene, to STARS, to critical-care workers at Regina General Hospital who healed her broken body and saved her foot, many in the community came together for Kyla.

“As the mother of two active girls you realize how much you need to be up and about and in great spirits,” said Kyla. “I can’t wait to swim, skate and run with them again. I have so many people to thank.”

STARS paramedic Darcy McKay (pictured far right) calls it nothing short of a miracle that Kyla’s foot was saved. “When we picked Kyla up my colleague and I wondered if part of her leg would be amputated,” he said. “Although it has been a long recovery, it’s fantastic she’s doing so well.”

Kyla’s is one story of many missions. STARS flew 1,046 missions in 2014-15 from bases in Regina and Saskatoon, thanks to support from our donors, like Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.

Ray Orb is the Reeve of Cupar and president of Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. SARM has donated more than $1 million to STARS.

Mike Fleming, advanced care paramedic for Crestvue Ambulance Service, was a first responder on scene for Kyla’s incident.

The STARS Emergency Link Centre (ELC) monitored workers at 65,000 industry sites
Staff in the ELC coordinated an average of 70 emergency response requests daily
52 per cent of STARS missions are medical emergencies

Tyson Parker was minutes from home when a head-on crash changed his life.

He was only 16 when STARS picked him up on Highway 2A near Leduc, suffering from multiple injuries, including a ruptured spleen, which was threatening his life. While the pilots airlifted him to Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, the air medical crew worked hard inside the helicopter to keep him alive.

Today, Tyson has the unique distinction of being STARS’ only patient who has been treated inside the helicopter and also has his name on the outside. He couldn’t have achieved this milestone, however, without first responders, advanced critical care and community support.

Not long after his recovery, Tyson formed the Tyson Parker Commitment to Life Society which has raised $642,000 through events. Ultimately, his committee’s logo found a home on the tailfin of our helicopters.

“My goal was to pay it forward,” he said. “If not for the rapid transport STARS provided to get me to emergency care and medical expertise at the scene and in the hospital I may not have survived.”

Jon Gogan, one of STARS’ pilots the night Tyson was carried, hasn’t forgotten the magnitude of that mission. “I remember looking at the scene from above and wondering how anyone could have survived,” said Jon. “I am humbled to be part of an incredible team of responders that offered Tyson hope when all seemed lost.”

Tyson’s is but one of many missions.

Thanks to support from our donors like Ted Brooks, STARS flew 1,839 missions in 2014-15 from our bases in Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.

Ted Brooks, chairman of the Westlock Motorcycle Ride for STARS, has raised more than $81,000 for our charity.

Ryan Miller, who was with Tyson in the head-on crash, is a firefighter in Edmonton and a valued link in the chain of survival.

Our blood on board program is now operating at five bases
This summer, STARS surpassed 30,000 missions flown
48,724 donors made all these missions and milestones possible

As the sun sets on his 29th summer at Whiteshell Provincial Park, Steven Lipischak is grateful for the chance to enjoy his family’s favourite escape following a head injury.

“STARS gave me a second life,” said Steven, of Winnipeg. “The doctors say it’s incredible I survived.”

Steven was standing on a stepladder changing lighting when he extended too far, falling and hitting his head on the concrete.

For Steven, the chain of survival worked seamlessly that day.

While a neighbour called 911, Cecelia Lipischak began CPR on her husband. When paramedics arrived, Steven was slipping out of consciousness. Right away, EMS knew there was a small window to get him to critical care, so STARS was requested. Our pilots rendezvoused with paramedics on a nearby highway and whisked Steven to Winnipeg, while STARS’ air medical crew worked to keep him stable.

From beginning to end, Steven received the best care possible and continues to benefit from that support today.

For Jamie Flewelling, Steven’s flight paramedic, his is a story she won’t soon forget.

“Seeing a patient that I cared for when he was so badly injured walk into the base and say thank you is a privilege,” said Jamie. “This experience, and others like it, is a wonderful reminder of why I work in this field.”

Today, Steven spreads the word about STARS’ work by sharing his story every chance he gets.

Thanks to support from people like Jessica Dumas, STARS flew 199 missions during 2014- 15 from our Winnipeg base.

Jessica Dumas, chairwoman of Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce in Manitoba, supports STARS by participating in our Rescue on the Island event.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Mantie, and his colleagues across Western Canada and southeastern BC, work closely with STARS at scene calls.

operational and financial highlights 2014/15

thank you

An accident scene can be a chaotic sight. But look beyond the twisted metal and shattered glass, and you’ll find order arising from that chaos. In the midst of it all, you will see skilled, dedicated women and men who come together to help those in need. Everyone plays a role, and everyone’s contributions make a difference.

No matter who you are, you too play a role in making STARS a success. Whether you’re a chain of survival partner who helps us on scene, to a donor who contributes your support to our cause, you are an integral part of every STARS mission.

One group of people whose incredible work for the STARS organization often goes unrecognized are our volunteer boards of directors. These dedicated community leaders share their time, talent and wisdom in guiding our organization. They ground us in the communities we serve.

To everyone who makes each mission possible, thank you.

Andrea Robertson
STARS President and CEO