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May 7 2020

STARS remains mission-ready during COVID-19

Posted by TC Energy

While people around the world shelter indoors from COVID-19, first responders like the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) remain mission-ready to provide emergency medical services and transportation.

Armed with a strict regimen for donning and doffing personal protective equipment, STARS continues to respond to medical emergencies in rural areas across western Canada – ensuring urgent patients have access to timely, vital care.

“Our mission volumes remain steady [during the COVID-19 pandemic],” says Andrea Robertson, STARS CEO. “We continue to transport the critically ill and injured, as we have done since 1985, and we have protocols in place to ensure we can safely manage a range of communicable diseases, including COVID-19.”

So far, in 2020, influenza-like illness transports have accounted for 12 per cent of STARS’ missions.


Partnering to save lives

A non-profit organization, STARS is financially supported by allies like TC Energy that believe in the life-saving services they provide and share in their commitment to keeping communities safe and healthy.

“We have been partnering with STARS for more than 20 years because they provide an essential service in the communities where we live and work across western Canada,” says Tracy Robinson, EVP and President, Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines. “Helping to keep communities safe is part of our business, and as an employer with infrastructure in rural areas, we rely on first responders like STARS to protect our local workforce and their neighbours.”

Most recently, TC Energy donated to STARS in support of their Community Outreach Program, which provides training to emergency personnel in the chain of survival – including volunteer fire fighters and paramedics who answer the call from their homes and then suit-up to help those in need.

STARS offers more than 50 education sessions per year for these everyday heroes, covering topics like:

  • How and when to contact STARS
  • Landing zone safety
  • Mission communications protocol
  • STARS integration with the local health care system

We’re basically owned by the communities, so it feels like the people and companies who support us are there in the aircraft with us. It’s part of how we go out and do what we do, and it is pretty impactful. It really solidifies why we are here.”

Greg Barton
Paramedic, STARS

Supporting first responders across North America

STARS is just one of the 365 first responder organizations TC Energy supported in 2019 through Build Strong - our community investment program. As part of our commitment to safety, we help local first responders across North America access the equipment and training they need to keep our communities safe.

These critical relationships also help prepare us, so we can keep our infrastructure safe and quickly respond if needed.

More information

We’ve been busy at TC Energy working on meaningful ways to respond to COVID-19. We are committed to supporting those most vulnerable in our communities and, to date, have donated C$2.6 million to our local non-profit heroes. We aren’t done yet – learn more about how you can join us to support relief efforts.