Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service

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

Charitable Reg. #:11878 1103 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 2/5]



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) 66 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service:

Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service is a two-star charity. It has a C results reporting grade, which is below average. For every dollar donated to the charity, 66 cents are available to go to the cause, which is just within Ci's reasonable range.

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 from its three bases in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan, and one in Manitoba. STARS operates a fleet of three Airbus H145 and eight BK117 helicopters, which have been specially outfitted for emergency medical services. 

STARS spent $53.0 million on its programs in F2022. STARS has three core programs: Aviation Operations, which received 54% of funding ($28.6m); Clinical Operations, which received 38% of funding ($20.1); and STARS Emergency Link Centre, which received 7% of funding ($3.7m). Due to ambiguous disclosure, Ci had difficulty associating metrics with the appropriate program.

The charity performed 3,365 missions across Western Canada in F2023. Of which, 1,650 were in Alberta, 1,018 were in Saskatchewan, and 697 were in Manitoba. STARS reports that it averages eight missions a day and receives 90 emergency requests each day. The most common missions it receives are related to general medical (21%), trauma (19%), cardiac (18%), and vehicle incident (18%).

My anchor

Results and Impact

The charity partners with local, national, and international researchers to improve clinical and aviation pre-hospital care practices. In F2022, the charity published three peer-reviewed research papers.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service’s results and impact.

The charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

My anchor


STARS received $28.9m in donations and special events revenue and $44.6m in government funding (40% of revenue) in F2023. Administrative costs are 10% of revenue (excluding investment income and lottery sales and costs, which are reported separately on a net basis) and fundraising costs are 24% of donations. This results in overhead spending of 34%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 66 cents are available to go to the cause, which is just within Ci's reasonable range. 

STARS has $62.0m in reserve funds, of which, $257k is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity's reserves can cover 104%, or one year of its annual program costs. 

STARS ran a lottery in F2023, STARS spent $18.6m to raise $35.7m through its lottery. The cost For every dollar raised by the lottery, 48 cents are available to go to the cause. 

STARS paid external fundraisers $314k to collect $31.9m in F2023. For every dollar raised using external fundraisers, 99 cents are available to go to the cause. 

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

Updated on January 24, 2024 by Liam Chapleau


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.6%10.9%11.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 24.0%23.6%27.7%
Total overhead spending 33.6%34.5%39.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 103.7%94.3%160.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 27,49927,22723,889
Goods in kind 1,0181,3341,135
Government funding 44,56133,36434,592
Fees for service 4,3284,7481,962
Lotteries (net) 17,14616,09115,882
Special events 1,4151,4561,266
Investment income 9957683,023
Other income 13,6342,954(259)
Total revenues 110,59687,94281,490
Program costs 59,54153,58655,226
Administrative costs 10,5679,4738,918
Fundraising costs 6,9406,7686,967
Total spending 77,04869,82771,111
Cash flow from operations 33,54818,11510,379
Capital spending 22,77355,49229,519
Funding reserves 62,00150,77488,599

Note: STARS uses deferred accounting. To report on a consistent basis, Ci adjusted for deferred revenues, which affected STARS's revenue by $5.1m in F2023, ($1.6m) in F2022, and ($1.6m) in F2021. The costs of the STARS calendar are included with its fundraising costs: $700k in F2023, $726k in F2022, and $603k in F2021. Ci included gain on risk management contracts, affecting revenue by $1.4m in F2023, $919k in F2022, and ($2.8m) in F2021. Ci used the charity's T3010 to help calculate exact fundraising costs. Ci reported lottery costs from the charity's financial notes, affected lotteries by $3.0m in F2023, ($895k) in F2022, and ($nil) in F2021. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 355

Avg. compensation: $106,175

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 F2022

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 403-516-4848


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001