STARS

STARS provides assistance with:

Finding the Patient

The STARS Emergency Link Centre® is a 24-hour communications centre facilitating emergency medical response, referral and transport within Alberta, and some portions of neighbouring provinces.   The Emergency number is 1-888-888-4567 or 1-403-299-0932 (from Iridium Satellite Phone) or #4567 (from a cellular phone or a GlobalStar Satellite Phone). To find more information, see STARS Emergency Medical Communications.

If within Alberta, it is recommended to pre-register a worksite as this will significantly reduce number of questions that will be asked at the time of an emergency call in.   See STARS details on registrating a worksite.  They also have a brochure available on the procedure.   Once you do register, you should print out this Landing Zone Reference Card to take with you in the field.  There are two types of worksites - a temporary worksite and a permanent one. A permanent one usually has a facility or structure and it never moves (e.g. research station). Non-profit organizations are exempt from the $5.00/day registration fee for the temporary work-sites.

Caring for the Patient

Highly skilled medical providers and aviation personnel using state-of-the art medical equipment and helicopters provide for the care and transport of critically ill and injured individuals.  To find more information, see What We Do - Air Medical Crew.  To see where their helicopters fly in and around Alberta, see their coverage map..    They are expected to acquire a new helicopter in 2012 that will be able to fly farther and so their coverage map should be changing.  STARS has recently extended into areas of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  

STARS-related Frequently Asked Questions

Does STARS fly to the Northern United States?

No, STARS is not able to fly into the United States at this time.

If researchers from the U of A are working outside of Canada, can they register with STARS (the Arctic, Northern US) and call us in the event of an emergency, even if we don’t send the helicopter.

Although STARS can provide limited services, it is best to secure the local emergency numbers of where you are travelling to. FRO can provide assistance with this as we have a list of all local emergency numbers across Canada.  Please call our office at 780-492-8981 or email us to advise of your general location.

Does U of A have to pay to register their site? What is the benefit of registering my site as opposed to just calling the 1-888 number in case of an emergency?

There are two classifications – a temporary worksite and a permanent one. A permanent one usually has a facility or structure and it never moves (e.g. research station). Non-profit organizations are exempt from the $5.00/day registration fee for the temporary work-sites. Registering your site involves answering about 25 questions and then this information gets typed into their database. One of the questions will be the date the temporary site will expire. If you give STARS your location, they can generate the GPS co-ordinates for you. They also determine the nearest ground EMS and the nearest medical facility. After your registration, you are issued a Site ID. If it is a temporary site, you may update the location of that site at any time. You just call in and update your location. This will be the location until your site expires or you phone in again and change it. You can change it several times per day depending upon how often you are moving.

What information should I have ready when calling STARS ELC?

  1. Who are you? (service -type of company e.g., field research, Site ID# assigned when you registered, level of medical training.)
  2. Call back number and method that STARS can communicate with you.
  3. Location of incident (only if you don’t have a SITE ID# or have moved from that site). If you don’t have SITE ID#, then you should have GPS co-ordinates, legal land description or highway numbers and proximity to nearest town/city.
  4. Nature of Incident: mechanism of injury or type of illness, patient's age and approximate weight.
  5. Pertinent Weather Conditions: Wind, visibility, freezing rain, etc.