STARS organization certainly worth supporting

There are so many people who really owe their lives to the services of STARS Air Ambulances.

STARS’ mission is dedicated to providing a safe, rapid, highly specialized emergency medical transport system for the critically ill and injured.

Clearly, an organization that deserves the public’s support and they can do that via the annual STARS Lottery dream home, built by Falcon Homes, located in Sylvan Lake.

The lottery launch was held last week, and always includes a story from someone who was rescued by STARS and is willing to share their experience.

It always proves to be a powerful time of hearing such stories of survival, thanks to the timely and state-of-the-art care provided by the STARS teams.

According to their web site, “In the early 1980s, studies showed about half the deaths due to trauma could have been prevented if patients had received critical care sooner.

“When Dr. Greg Powell lost a young mother who was being transported from a rural area to Calgary by ground ambulance, he decided something had to change.

That’s when he founded STARS.

Less than half the population of western Canada lives in major urban centres and has access to critical care within minutes.

For the other half such access is measured in hours. That can mean the difference between life and death; full recovery or permanent damage.

“With STARS, those living in rural communities, working in remote areas, travelling on highways or being transported from community hospitals to major medical centres, receive the very best in critical care in helicopters staffed and outfitted as mobile ICUs,” says the web site.

STARS helicopters are also defined as more than an ambulance in the air; “They are a sophisticated medical environment brought directly to the patient, be it at the side of the road or at a small rural hospital.

On board, a full array of medications and equipment is at the disposal of the air medical crew.

They can administer life-saving drugs, defibrillate a patient’s heart, transfuse blood, or even peer inside using portable ultrasound technology.

“Throughout the transport, the crew communicates with a STARS transport physician as well as the hospital that will receive the patient by radio, cellular phone, or a satellite link. This ensures that everyone involved in the patient’s care is connected and participates in the decision-making process.”

Meanwhile, the furnished grand prize home in Sylvan Lake where the local launch was held is one of four throughout the province and is worth over $945,000.

More than 3,200 prizes are available this year and are valued at $5.6 million.

Other prizes include a ‘home away from home’ truck-trailer combo valued at $141,503, as well as a car, vacation, cash package which includes a 2016 Audi TT Quatro Coupe and seven nights for two adults in London, England with $5,000 cash.

During the grand opening last week, Jeffery Quick, chief financial officer and executive vice president of STARS Foundation, explained in 2014/15 STARS flew 1,839 missions.

This includes six to Sylvan Lake, 68 to Red Deer, 36 to Rocky Mountain House, 19 to Olds, 18 to Stettler and 17 to Ponoka. He added Central Alberta is one of their most flown to areas and also one of the largest supporters of the lottery.

The annual lottery raises funds for the air ambulance service, with tickets set at $25 and which are available at the dream home in Sylvan Lake or online at www.starslotteryalberta.ca.

We encourage people to support this lottery in particular because you never know when you or a loved one will ever need this life-saving service.

There aren’t many organizations like STARS that directly impact people’s lives in such desperate situations.

It truly is a matter of life and death in so many cases that STARS is dispatched to.

Even though times are tough for many Albertans, and when donations seem harder to come by, STARS is certainly worth considering if you have any extra to give.

And with tickets only $25 each, it’s money well spent.STAR

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