Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service

1441 Aviation Park NE, Box 570
Calgary, AB T2E 8M7
President & CEO: Andrea Robertson
Board Chair: Mary Brindle

Charitable Reg. #:11878 1103 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

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Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 74 cents are available for programs.

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About Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service:

Founded in 1985, Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) works collaboratively with emergency services, the community, the government, and regional health authorities to provide emergency medical care and transport to the critically ill and injured in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and ManitobaSTARS reports that it invests funds in 3 areas: time (17%), using its fleet of medically outfitted helicopters to allow patients to be transported directly to hospitals while receiving treatment on the way; tools (20%), ensuring it has sophisticated yet compact medical equipment including ultrasound machines, blood for transfusions, about 70 medications, and the ability to conduct lab work; and talent (63%), working with medical professionals selected based on aptitudes for trauma transport and a broad scope of patient care. STARS reports that it has completed over 42,000 missions since 1985. 

Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service’s Helicopter Air Ambulance operates from 3 bases in Alberta (Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie), 2 in Saskatchewan (Regina and Saskatoon) and 1 in Manitoba (Winnipeg). Its fleet of 8 Airbus Helicopters (BK117) was expanded in 2012 to include 3 Agusta Westlands (AW139), which have allowed STARS to expand its geographic range to locations such as Medicine Hat, Cold Lake, and Hinton. In 2018, STARS released its vision for a new fleet of Airbus Helicopters (H145) to remain on the cutting edge of emergency medical care.  

In F2019, STARS flew 1,434 missions in Alberta, 812 missions in Saskatchewan, and 632 missions in Manitoba. Total operating costs per mission in F2017 were $21k. STARS reports that most of its missions respond to medical emergencies (65%), with the remainder responding to vehicle collisions (17%), recreational activities (7%), trauma (6%), agriculture-related incidents (3%), and industrial/workplace incidents (2%). STARS reports that its aviation operations make up 50% of its program spending, while clinical operations make up 30%. 

Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service’s Emergency Link Centre is a 24-hour emergency medical communications centre that helps emergency service providers care for critically ill and injured patients. In F2018, this program was 6% of program spending. This centre oversees STARS’s helicopter missions, coordinating transport and care, and providing on-line medical consultations. In F2019, the Emergency Link Centre responded to an average of 62 requests daily.  

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Results and Impact

STARS reports that the economic benefits of helicopter ambulance missions are 6 times higher than its costs.

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STARS is a Major 100 charity, with donations of $27.2m in F2018Administrative costs were 12% of revenues (excluding investment income), and fundraising costs were 14% of donations. For every $1 donated to the charity, 74 cents go to the cause, which is within Charity Intelligence’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

The charity’s funding reserves of $41.9m result in a program cost coverage ratio of 70%. This means that the charity can cover 8 months of annual program costs using existing reserves.  

This charity report is an update that has been sent to STARS for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on August 16, 2019 by Caroline McKenna. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 12.0%11.1%11.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 14.1%15.9%18.7%
Program cost coverage (%) 70.4%78.0%64.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 27,19723,26020,809
Government funding 27,50827,16227,973
Fees for service 1,1781,7912,296
Lotteries (net) 12,58214,85814,496
Business activities (net) 1,3181,2101,071
Investment income 6981,422(128)
Other income 2,1731,9812,531
Total revenues 72,65471,68469,048
Program costs 59,53957,69359,511
Administrative costs 8,6187,7847,858
Fundraising costs 3,8293,6863,883
Total spending 71,98669,16371,252
Cash flow from operations 6682,521(2,204)
Capital spending 2,0682,9492,505
Funding reserves 41,91344,98638,194

Note: Ci has adjusted amortization of deferred capital contributions, donations and fundraising expenditures, and administration expenditures affecting revenues by $6k in F2018, $5k in F2017, and $5k in F2016. Ci has adjusted for donations and fundraising expenditures, and administration expenditures affecting expenses by $12k in F2018, $11k in F2017, and $12k in F2016.  This profile update used the most recent data available. As of the date of this report, the most recent output data was from F2019 and the most recent financial statements were from F2018. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 299

Avg. Compensation: $104,736

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2018

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Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 1-855-516-4848