Give tribute to our emergency workers

My Nikkel's Worth column

There has been much attention in recent days and weeks on our emergency response workers and the valuable work they do in serving the community, and rightly so.
In particular, there has been an emphasis on STARS, the emergency helicopter service operated by a non-profit agency that provides remote access to airlift patients to medical facilities.
This was appropriate since the CEO and president of STARS came to Weyburn on Tuesday for two separate events: the Quota Women of the Year awards luncheon, and the “Evening with STARS” fundraiser held in the evening.
To prepare for the latter event, we did one story each week with a person or family who had been helped by STARS in some way, and this brought about some remarkable stories of emergencies.
It should be remembered, however, that STARS does not operate in a vacuum; they operate in conjunction with, and in cooperation with, many other emergency response services and organizations, including EMS or ground ambulance, police, fire departments, doctors and nurses in our medical facilities, and with the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance service, which operates fixed-wing airplanes.
The latter group happens to be North America’s oldest formally-organized non-military air ambulance service.
This service, which is owned and funded by the provincial government, dispatches critical care crews 24 hours a day to locations across the province to perform critical care inter-facility transports and to transport patients to and from other provinces for care not available in Saskatchewan.
These agencies and groups involve a lot of people, some of them highly-trained, and some of them volunteer, but they are all crucially-important to the safety of the public at large.
The sacrifice of time and effort that all of these people provide is invaluable, and there are many people who can say they are alive today because of the work that they do.
Not everyone has been able to survive the incidents they have been involved with, such as in the case of Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk, but even there, the STARS service provided her mom an extra week to be with her, and enabled Kailynn’s body could be cared for to enable her organs to be donated.
This shows that even when things don’t turn out the way one wishes, there can be good come out of the situation.
Our communities, and the travelling public in general, are safer today because of the hard work and sacrifice that our emergency responders provide in our towns and cities, and in the rural areas of our province.

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