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TODAY & ONWARDS

The rotary air ambulance program, initially named Lions Air Ambulance Service, is established, and the first mission is flown in December to transport a critically ill infant to tertiary care in Calgary.

STARS receives formal recognition as an essential service when the organization is integrated into emergency planning for the Calgary Olympic Winter Games.

STARS’ Edmonton base is established and carries out its first mission in October. STARS is awarded rotary and fixed-wing air medical ambulance contracts for Edmonton and Calgary.

STARBEAR, the official mascot of STARS, is born.

The STARS Emergency Link Centre is established with funding received from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. STARS finances Calgary and Edmonton helicopters.

The STARS Seconds Count Capital Campaign launches to buy two STARS helicopters and establishes the STARS Legacy Fund. STARS receives full accreditation as an international critical-care provider from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).

The Human Patient Simulator program is established through the support of Lions International Multiple District 37 and Lockerbie & Hole.

The Chain of Survival Fund is established to provide community emergency service providers with financial assistance for medical equipment and training needs.

The International Association of Air Medical Services names STARS the recipient of its prestigious Program of the Year award. STARS is the first international and first Canadian program to receive this honour. Also, a fourth helicopter is purchased.

STARS is requested to be the air medical provider for the G8 Summit in Kananaskis, Alberta.

STARS surpasses the 10,000-mission milestone.

STARS is the first civilian air carrier to use NVG technology in Canada, carrying out a mission from southeastern Alberta to Calgary using night vision goggle (NVG) technology.

For the first time, STARS simultaneously mobilizes three helicopters to respond to a mission in central Alberta. The Vision Critical Campaign and STARS Centre for Education and Research are launched.

A third base opens in Grande Prairie on November 1. Within one year, crews from this base fly over 116 missions in Peace Country.

Dr. Gregory Powell, founder and STARS Chief Executive Officer, is made an officer in the Order of Canada.

STARS sees the first class graduate from the STARS Critical Care and Transport Medicine Academy.

STARS celebrates its 25th anniversary and is awarded the Andy Mynarski VC Memorial Award for contributions to the search-and-rescue field.

The province of Saskatchewan signs an agreement with STARS to establish helicopter air medical service in that province. Andrea Robertson assumes the role of STARS President & CEO.

STARS signs a 10-year agreement with the Government of Manitoba to provide helicopter air ambulance from a permanent base in Winnipeg. Bases in Regina and Saskatoon also open.

STARS unveils two new donor-funded AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters, which will enhance access to emergency care. The first patient transported by a STARS AW139 was flown in Sept. 2013.

STARS’ base in Regina becomes the first air medical service in Canada to begin stocking blood to be used for life-saving transfusions on air medical missions. The STARS Blood on Board initiative has since spread this service to all six bases.

STARS celebrates 30 years of care in the air. Staff and crews reflect on the more than 29,000 missions carried out since the nonprofit launched in 1985.

STARS has come a long way from a stretcher and a single monitor. Today we carry ultrasound, video laryngoscopes, portable ventilators and other life-saving equipment, used by our highly skilled crews on board the helicopter. As medical technology advances, so will STARS.