Spotlight: STARS Ambulance

Photo courtesy STARS Ambulance

If you or your loved ones are commuting at all this holiday season along vast stretches of snowy Alberta highways, or commuting into or out of a rural town, you’re technically within the jurisdiction of STARS Ambulance.

Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service

This emergency care service has been evolving care across rural Alberta since its first mission in 1985. A study in the early 1980s proved that roughly half of trauma-based deaths could have been prevented if patients had received immediate critical care, and yet many rural communities were hours away from their nearest emergency room.

For founder Dr. Gregory Powell, even one preventable loss was one too many. In came the special helicopters, engineered to easily slide a rolling stretcher into the back and carry both aviation and air medical crew.

STARS formally became known as an essential service in 1988, and another base was established in Edmonton in 1991. Their fleet has only been growing over the years, with more permanent bases later established in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Many people are alive today, and may be saved this winter alone, because of STARS.

However, each patient flight costs approximately $5400 on average, which covers both aviation and medical teams, necessary medical supplies, and helicopter fuel. That cost does not cover the teams’ training, aircraft maintenance, and the organization’s other 24-hour support services.

Ways to donate:
• Monetary online donations at, in your name or as a gift • Items from the STARS store, like the 2023 calendar
• Donations Team: 1-855-516-4848 or 403-516-4848
• STARS Calendar/Merchandise Office: 1-877-778-8288 or 403-216-1040

2023 STARS Calendar

Photo courtesy STARS Ambulance

The STARS annual calendar campaign has raised millions of dollars to help fund their ongoing emergency response services. $30 from

Donate to STARS here.

This articles appears in our 2022 Wish Book. 


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