Archives for September 2017

Fall Mixer Takes Off – Review of STARS Air Ambulance PD Event.


Thank you to everyone for attending our Fall Mixer. IABC Saskatoon board member and event attendee Colin McHattie gives us his thoughts on the event.

We started IABC Saskatoon’s 35th anniversary off right with a wonderful and eye opening fall mixer hosted by STARS Air Ambulance. Mark Oddan, Communications Lead for STARS Air Ambulance Saskatchewan gave a brilliant and in-depth presentation that highlighted the importance of communications at STARS. Mark went through various examples, including, how dispatchers need to be able communicate with the crew quickly and effectively to save lives. Mark also talked about his role in maintaining relationships with past patients and transitioning them into VIPs (Very Important Patients). These VIPs are people who have been saved by STARS and have decided to share the stories of how STARS changed their lives. It was touching to hear the stories firsthand and how patients have willingly reached out to the STARS crew and act as spokespeople, helping to spread the message and raise funds. Helicopters are expensive!

Following Mark’s presentation, Luc Duval, Community Education Leader and Flight Paramedic, discussed the process of what happens when a call comes in. He explained how the team gets ready after being alerted and how they’re able to be in the air within eight minutes of being dispatched. Next, he showed us the simulation room used for training and took us to the helicopters. We were fortunate enough to go inside the helicopters and get an in-depth look at the advanced medical instruments that are used to help keep patients alive while they’re enroute to hospital.

The fall mixer was an absolutely amazing way to spend an evening. Talking with, and learning from, other communicators while being able to raise money for STARS Air Ambulance was great! Seeing the level of training and the advanced equipment that is used was very reassuring. While I still hope I never need to ride in a STARS helicopter, if I do I know I’ll have the best care possible. – Colin McHattie

Even if you didn’t manage to get to the event you can find out more about STARS and donate to them via their website.