Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Sask Polytech and STARS partner for extraordinary hands-on learning experience

Media are invited to watch a high stress, intense training exercise unfold at the STARS base in Saskatoon

February 23, 2017 – Transferring a patient from an ambulance to a STARS helicopter is no easy task – the process is stressful, intense and requires a steady focus from the paramedics working hard to stabilize the patient. This is why the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Advanced Care Paramedic program has partnered with STARS for an exceptional, one-of-a-kind training exercise on Friday, February 24, 2017.

“Students will be given a phenomenal high fidelity training exercise that gives them valuable hands on experience,” says Noel Dunn, program head for the paramedic programs at Sask Polytech. “We’re very fortunate to have this partnership with STARS, which has allowed us to provide enhanced learning opportunities for more than four years.”

The exercise will begin in a simulated learning lab, where students will find themselves in the middle of a high stress medical call. After assessing the situation, students will determine that the patient will need to be transferred to hospital via STARS. Using a Sask Polytech ambulance they will travel to meet the helicopter at an agreed upon landing zone, which for this training exercise will be the hangar at the STARS base. Once there, they will be working alongside STARS to stabilize the patient for travel.

“The learning activities with STARS reflect intense, high stress, simulation settings that involve exceptional patient assessments, with dynamic and integrated treatment plans,” says Dunn. “This kind of training helps prepare our students for the kinds of scenarios they will encounter every day on the job.” 

The training exercise is an excellent opportunity for STARS’ medical team to help prepare their soon-to-be counterparts on the ground for the realities of patient transfer from ground ambulance to helicopter.

“We work closely with our paramedic partners in the chain of survival, and when seconds count, we want to ensure we are all doing everything we can to provide the patient with a swift and seamless change of transport en-route to a care facility,” said Luc Duval, flight paramedic and community education lead with STARS. “This training is highly valuable to the students, but ultimately benefits the patients.”

Media are invited to join students and STARS employees for the training exercise in the STARS hangar. Opportunities to speak with representatives from both organizations and students will be available when the exercise is complete.


Sask Polytech and STARS training exercise


Friday, February 24, 2017


11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m.


Hangar 21
2475 Airport Road, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 27,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student needs, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.