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MD provides grant to STARS air ambulance

The MD of Willow Creek will provide a donation of $2 per capita, for a total of $10,674, to STARS air ambulance.
Council heard a presentation May 25 from Murray Campbell, the major gifts manager for STARS in southern Alberta and southeastern B.C.
Campbell showed a DVD demonstrating the services offered by STARS which include the air ambulance service, but also training and outreach.
When a call comes, STARS can be airborne in five minutes on a good day, with paramedics, nurses and often a flight physician on board, depending on the nature of the call.
“Supporting STARS is important,” Campbell said.
Equally important is creating partnerships with communities, such as the transfer of patients to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary from Claresholm General Hospital.
In in the past 1.5 years, 26 patients have been transferred from Claresholm to Calgary.
By comparison, there were 88 transfers from Lethbridge, 22 from Taber, 20 from Pincher Creek, and three each from Fort Macleod and Cardston.
STARS is raising funds for two new helicopters which will be able to serve all of Alberta past Fort McMurray, as well as parts of Saskatchewan and B.C.
These new helicopters are faster, have better equipment and will be able to make longer flights.
Right now, STARS can’t cover some longer distances without stopping to re-fuel.
“Saving lives in your community depends on the support of everyone in your community,” Campbell said.
Campbell requested a donation based on $2 per capita, noting the counties of Newell and Warner have provided financial support.
“All of us who live out of town are going to need this when we need (help),” Coun. Glen Alm said.
The rest of council agreed, deciding to donate $2 per capita and instructing administration to budget for it in 2012.