PHOTOS/VIDEO: STARS adds night flying to rescue operations
Day or night, STARS air ambulance is flying in Saskatchewan.
STARS-- based out of the Regina airport -- has had its hours of operation extended to 24 hours a day.
The air ambulance crews had only been flying during daylight hours to get used to the terrain. Night flying begins Monday.
STARS vice-president of Saskatchewan operations Ron Dufresne says after flying 32 missions since April during daylight hours, the STARS team feels more than prepared to take their experience into night operations.
To do that the pilots will be using night vision goggles.
“It’s a literally night and day,” said Jacques Poirier, one of the STARS pilots.
“Basically they’re a system that just enhances the existing illumination out there. It’s like looking into little TV monitors.
“You get to pick up everything that you wouldn’t normally see with the naked eye. You get to pick up everything -- telephone wires, power lines, power poles. They don’t normally show up to the naked eye, but under these, they show up quite well.”
Dufresne explains why they’ve taken that extra step.
“It’s the same type of care. We want to make sure we run as safe as possible and safety is our first priority in everything we do.
“With the addition of the night time or night vision goggles, it provides that extra layer of safety for our pilots and crew and, of course, our patients.”
Meanwhile, as Regina takes this step forward, plans are still to see STARS move north by adding a base in Saskatoon.
Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.