"I was looking the death angel in the face Saturday afternoon," said Beaudry. "I like to consider STARS as angels with red wings."
Garfield Beaudry sat down to put his boots on for dinner with friends and woke up five hours later in an emergency room. During those lost hours the senior suffered a heart attack and STARS was dispatched to his rural Raymore home, more than 100 kilometres north of Regina.
After the helicopter landed on his farm, the crew flew him to Regina General Hospital, where he later awoke and learned from a cardiologist what had happened.
"It was Divine Providence," said Beaudry. "It wasn't my time to go." Beaudry spent most of Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, doing chores around his home. He hadn't been feeling well that morning but was looking forward to dinner with friends. Luckily for Beaudry, his friends showed up two hours earlier than expected. Otherwise, the 75-year-old would have been alone in the country when his heart troubles began. "I think of that day nearly every day and how fortunate I am to have STARS and others in the medical profession," he said. "STARS had me from this place to Regina in 25 minutes and without that helicopter I probably wouldn't be here today."
Every time STARS responds to an emergency it has a ripple effect throughout a community. A single patient flown can make a lasting impact on family, friends, emergency responders and countless more people in your community.
In 2013, STARS flew 821 missions to 241 different Saskatchewan communities. With STARS in the air, people 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 critical care in helicopters staffed and outfitted as mobile intensive care units.
With the help of our dedicated supporters, STARS will continue to be the bright spot in someone's darkest day. Approximately 50 percent of the funding for our two bases in Saskatchewan comes from local supporters. Each and every person who buys a STARS Lottery ticket is helping contribute to the safety of their community.
Every day, STARS takes care of some of the sickest and most critically injured patients in Saskatchewan. While in the air, these patients receive the highest level of care available. Here's how we deliver on that commitment.
Exceptional expertise: Our doctors, nurses and paramedics don't just work at STARS; they work in your community. You will find them in local emergency departments, intensive care units, and ground ambulances. Our nurses and paramedics are experienced, with at least five years professional background, completion of an intensive induction training program that exceeds 200 hours of instruction, and a minimum of 96 hours of ongoing specialized air ambulance and critical care training, which is required annually for as long as they work for STARS.
Cutting-edge technology: Our helicopters are 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.
Striving for excellence: Our medical team has a commitment to ensuring the best care is delivered to patients on each and every mission. Our Clinical Quality Assurance Program mandates that 100 per cent of our missions are reviewed once they are complete, by both an independent air medical crew member and transport physician not involved in treating the patient. Achieving a review rate of 100 per cent is a unique practice in transport medicine.Saskatchewan Missions of 2013 (pdf)
STARS Flight Nurse/Clinical Operations Manager
"Words cannot explain what STARS means to Saskatchewan. When we land at the scene of an emergency, or at a rural hospital, I can see that we are making a difference, not just with our patients, but in the community as a whole."
President, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
"I can't stress enough the importance of STARS and what it means to the province of Saskatchewan and to the rural community. STARS connects us to the major trauma units that we have to get to in emergency situations."
President, Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters Association
"STARS provides an enhanced level of care that helps bring a positive outcome on more of our emergency calls."
To see more stories of our VIPs, learn about what STARS is currently up to, or to find out how to get more involved with our organization, visit our website, become a fan of our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or watch us on Instagram.