Report Recommending STARS Become RMWB’s Medevac Services Provider, HERO Worried Change Could Be “Detrimental” For Residents

A new report is suggesting STARS should replace HERO for medevac services in the RMWB.

The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services report was released on Tuesday which provided 11 recommendations for the government of Alberta to consider.

This included having just one single provider for the entire province. STARS currently serves Alberta except for the RMWB and Medicine Hat.

“We all agree that in life-threatening situations, Albertans need to know that they can get the help they need – no matter where they are,” said Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s Health Minister.

“We will be reviewing the report further and consulting with HEMS providers in the coming months to determine next steps.”

Paul Spring, President of the Local HERO Foundation, tells Mix News he has some concerns with the report.

This includes it suggesting STARS pays around $1 million in landing fees annually despite medevac helicopters having to pay between nothing to miniscule costs and the amount of information gathered from websites instead of an actually investigation.

Spring says it doesn’t account for everything HERO does as it’s more than just transferring patients to different locations.

“I don’t think you’re going to find a critical care nurse or transfer physician who’s going to pick up a chainsaw and cut the log that’s impaled somebody from between their legs.”

He adds STARS does a great service to the province, however, nearly all of their cases involve moving individuals from one centre to another.

Due to the size of the RMWB, HERO is sometimes the only one called to respond. This has resulted in specialists joining each flight so they can provide first-aid once arriving.

Spring adds he’s not fighting this recommendation to keep HERO alive, rather to ensure residents in the region get the best care possible.

“This really isn’t about us, even if it went to open fair competition in McMurray at least the competition would be the right service for our region. That’s the way it should go.”

He has reached out to MLA’s Tany Yao and Laila Goodridge who’ve provided support to the organization as well as the RMWB.

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