The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society, or STARS, went before High River council Monday.

Glenda Farnden with the society told council that it costs about $15 million to keep the helicopters flying each year and while the province topped up its funding to take care of half the cost, the rest comes from fundraising.

That includes the STARS Lottery, calendar sales and money from municipalities.

The High River hospital has seen 41 calls over the last five years while High River itself has seen another 23.


Farnden told council over the last few months STARS has seen about a 35 per cent jump in calls due to respiratory distress, in many cases due to this summer's wildfire smoke.

She says they only used information from patients' postal codes to determine there were 388 calls within Foothills County's boundaries over the last ten years.

In that time 121 people with High River postal codes were flown on STARS missions.


The town sees about 13 missions each year or about one a month.

The Town of High River provided $15,700 last year to STARS and the group's asking for $16,072 in 2024.

Mayor Craig Snodgrass says it'll be considered as part of council's regular budget discussions.

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