STARS provides world-class air medical transport services across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Our mission is to respond to those in their hour of greatest need, and we believe that where you live shouldn't make the difference if you live. We remain mission ready at all of our 6 bases, and while volumes remain steady, they are expected to rise as the demand from COVID-19 increases. STARS is essential in transporting patients from rural communities into hospitals that are able to provide the care needed. Our crew continues to be available for the next patient who needs us. STARS was built by the community for the community and our bases are staffed 24/7 by highly trained nurses, paramedics, and transport physicians.
At STARS, we remain committed to the health and safety of all our staff and allies, and of course, our patients.
STARS’ critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic includes;
- Coordinating transport for critically ill patients
- Facilitating online COVID-19 medical consultations
- Educating medical personal on new policies and processes in air way management & ventilating patients with COVID-19
- Linking EMS crews dealing with COVID-19 patients to on-line physicians
- Caring for critically ill patients
- Providing essential rapid emergency transportation to critically ill patients
To help ensure our crews stay safe and protected we have had to purchase N95 masks, gowns, face shields, gloves and sanitization supplies. We have also had to purchase additional medical equipment such as ventilator circuits, valves, tubes and accessories to care for COVID-19 patients.
To assist us in keeping up with the demand we have had to set up a secondary Emergency Link Centre (ELC), which is also helping our ELC staff social distance while continuing their critical role. Our call volume has quadrupled since the beginning of March due to the additional facilitation of medical consultations between EMS and our Transport Physicians to discuss COVID-19 cases. STARS’ plays a key role in coordinating COVID-19 related medical consultations for doctors, EMS, and first responders. This secondary ELC will continue to operate until the demand decreases.
The longer the COVID-19 pandemic goes on for, the more expenses STARS will endure. Supporting STARS during this time helps us be there for the next patient who needs us. We count on donations throughout the year to fund our critical care operations and now is no different.
Last year STARS flew 2,878 missions across Western Canada. From flying missions to providing medical training to emergency providers and first responders using our mobile education unit, our focus is ensuring the highest level of care is available when it’s needed during this pandemic and always.