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STARS Air Ambulance Urges Safety While Off-Roading

May 15, 2020 8:27 AM | News

STARS Air Ambulance

STARS air ambulance lands on the heliport at HSC Winnipeg during a test flight on Friday, November 25, 2016. (WRHA / HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — As the May long weekend gets underway, STARS air ambulance will be on alert to assist any Manitoban who should get into trouble. That includes anyone involved in an ATV accident.

“We continue to see an alarming number of ATV incidents in Manitoba. In 2019 alone we responded to more than 30 incidents involving ATVs,” said Grant Therrien, provincial director of Manitoba Operations.

“So if you are planning to ride your ATVs this weekend, please wear helmets and be mindful of your speed, especially if driving on unfamiliar trails.”

STARS often sees a rise in call volume over long weekends, notably the Victoria Day weekend. In 2019, STARS Manitoba crews flew 17 missions from May 17-20, an average of more than four per day. Those calls included multiple ATV incidents, motor vehicle accidents and a near-drowning.

Therrien is also reminding Manitobans to observe social distancing guidelines outlined by health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19.

He adds the STARS’ Manitoba base saw a decrease in missions in the first couple of weeks after the pandemic began to impact Manitoba but they are now responding to one to two calls per day. In the period of March 1 to May 13 there were 98 missions flown in the province.

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives; however, we do expect many Manitobans will be heading outdoors to enjoy the long weekend. If you are among that group, please ensure that safety is at the forefront of whatever you do.”

Officials are also reminding motorists to be patient on the way to their destination and leave extra time to navigate the increase in highway traffic.