July 16th, 2024

STARS Air Rescue launches new podcast “Mission Ready”


By Ry Clarke - for the Lethbridge Herald on March 25, 2022.

Submitted photo Marcia Birkigt suffered serious life threatening injuries from a cougar attack and shares her story on 'Mission Ready' episode 1: Mauling on a Mountaintop.

STARS Air Rescue is launching a new podcast, ‘Mission Ready’, bringing listeners into the hub of emergency missions with an up-close look into STARS and what happens when all hands are on deck.
The podcast is presented by WBM Technologies and will host a variety of crew, doctors, nurses and paramedics who have helped save lives with STARS.
“While the helicopter is incredibly important, it’s also the people who are inside the helicopter with their hands on the patient…From the first person who calls 911 to the dispatcher in our STARS emergency link center, to the people on the ground, and the first responders and everyone else. To care for a patient, it takes a lot of people and that’s why we really wanted to do a podcast so we could showcase all of the work that all of these good people do in helping to save a life,” said manager of external relations and marketing, Deborah Tetley.
STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service) was founded in Calgary back in 1985 as a non-profit providing rapid specialized emergency care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients.
“We’ve evolved into six bases across Western Canada. We have three in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan, and one in Manitoba,” Tetley said in regards to STARS expansion since first starting.
STARS operates out of Western Canada with over 2,000 yearly missions and 45,000 missions under its belt since its founding back in 1985.
“Seventy-eight missions we’ve recorded for the last fiscal year to Lethbridge, and that’s just Lethbridge not surrounding areas,” said Tetley.
Sharing dispatch recordings, the audience will hear from witnesses at the scene and speak with crews who care for the injured while in the field, with testimonials from friends and families who have witnessed STARS in action.
“We don’t just fly in with a helicopter with four crew members. There’s so much more to the story. We want to credit the witnesses on the ground and the people who call 911 to ask for help,” said Tetley talking about the podcast and what it hoped to tell audiences. “We just really hope that people enjoy it.”
STARS deliver lifesaving services to communities across Western Canada and will show audiences what goes into being STARS and what happens when they are needed most. The first season of the podcast features biologist Marcia Birkigt who was the victim of a cougar attack while working on site on a dark mountaintop where she was bleeding out and in excruciating pain.
The six episodes will showcase STARS in action and how people cope in the aftermath of harrowing attacks.
‘Mission Ready’ is available everywhere podcasts can be found or readers can head to stars.ca/podcast.
“We really wanted to find a way to take a deeper dive into some of these stories because some of them are so rich and complex.”
Tetley mentions how the podcast is about showcasing everyone involved from the patients to the people behind the scenes, showcasing all the work that goes into saving a life.

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