Safety, teamwork, accountability, respect and spirit – these are the core values that guide STARS Air Ambulance.

The story of STARS begins in 1985 (originally named Lions Air Ambulance Service). It all began when a pregnant woman from a rural community died from blood loss, leaving a father alone with their newborn. For STARS founder Dr. Powell, her death was one too many. Something had to be done.

Now, in 2021, STARS has completed over 45,000 rescue missions since its founding.

SECURE’s relationship with STARS goes back several years. STARS has worked as SECURE’s emergency call center and all our Canadian facilities are registered with STARS. This is an organization team SECURE is familiar with and a service they trust.

The evolution of our relationship took a step forward in July of 2020 when Kathryn Engel, Donor Relations and Development Officer at STARS, reached out to SECURE about a more strategic partnership opportunity through their Grande Prairie base.

While STARS and SECURE’s relationship has been around for about a decade, it was time to strengthen it. STARS says it takes a community to save a life – this was a community that SECURE wanted to be apart of.

Kathryn joined Greg Filipchuk, VP Operations, and Wyatt Norn, Marketing and Communications Team Lead, in a short video discussing the importance of this partnership and how it relates to what we do here at SECURE.

On average, STARS continues to receive eight calls for critical help every single day.

“When we look at community investments within SECURE, we try to consider how can we make that investment relate to every single employee that we have,” says Wyatt Norn, Marketing and Communications Team Lead at SECURE. The STARS operation area covers 95% of SECURE’s employee base. This investment was important to SECURE because it is a direct investment in our people and our communities and creates a unified partnership between the field and office operations.

Becoming a corporate ally has supported STARS in completing over 3,000 missions across their six bases in 2020 – 1,300 of these missions were in Alberta alone.

“I think you'd be hard pressed to talk to any of our employees and find one that does not recognize the importance of the service offering from STARS in the different centers throughout Western Canada,” says Greg Filipchuk, VP Operations at SECURE.

Funding for STARS differs from province to province. In Alberta, 95% of funding comes from fundraising initiatives such as private donors and the well-known STARS Lottery.

This partnership reinforces the safety culture at SECURE. Our number one goal is that everyone goes home safe – whether you are at work or at home, STARS is here to support that goal.

“Through this partnership, we are able to work together to better serve our communities, keeping SECURE employees and their communities safe now and in the years ahead,” says Kathryn. “From all of us here at STARS, we thank you, and we remind you it is because of donations like yours that We are All stars.”