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One Country.
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February 17, 2010
Elvis is in the Building!
Entertainer Robert Larrabee recalls a few memories of Dean Martin and other famous stage personalities (Elvis above) who were portrayed at Prairie Hall on Friday evening, February 13. An estimated 360 people took in the supper, entertainment and social that was organized by the Provost and District Museum Society. ©Provost News Photo.
Provost Residents May be Seeing STARS More Often
As Bigger, Faster Helicopters are Added to Ambulance Services’ Fleet
With the addition of two new helicopters in Edmonton and Calgary, Provost will be well within range of the STARS air ambulance service.

STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) expects to have a new AW139 helicopter in Edmonton in the summer of this year, and another in Calgary shortly thereafter.

In an interview with STARS’ senior public relations advisor, Cam Heke, the society is excited to have the new helicopters — which offer a longer flight range, and are 25 per cent faster than the current BK117 helicopters that are used now.

“We know we can provide greater care and faster response time, and to a greater number of Albertans,” said Heke. At the moment, STARS can serve “approximately 94 per cent of the population (in Alberta). With the AW139 — up to 97 per cent. It allows STARS to significantly expand the area we can cover. It also flies faster.”

The existing fleet is comprised of five BK117 helicopters based out of Edmonton, Calgary and Grande Prairie. The BK117 models have a range of 250 km (round trip) whereas the new AW139 models have a range of 370 km (round trip). This “puts Provost well within range.”

“It’s mostly about speed. Time is muscle. It’s about getting the patient to hospital as quickly as possible and to make sure that person is getting care en route to that hospital.” The new AW139 cruises at 280 km/hour while the AK117 cruises at 240 km/hour.

On top of that, the AW139 models have more elbow room as it can carry two patients, and possibly a third. The AK117 can typically carry just one patient.

That doesn’t mean the AK117 is an outdated dinosaur by any stretch. In fact, Heke says they are upgraded regularly and have all the equipment of an intensive care unit at a hospital.

Local doctor Deon Erasmus said he’s only heard rumours of this and hopes it will become a reality for the Provost area. In the past, Erasmus has heard of similar prospects but they’ve never materialized.

In terms of providing more options for Provost doctors, “it definitely does,” said Erasmus. “Time’s the biggest problem” when considering the option between helicopter or fixed wing airplane. “There’s extra time from the M.D. airport to the hospital, so if we can eliminate that that’d be great,” which is one advantage of a helicopter over a fixed-wing aircraft.

Erasmus told The News that some weeks he and the other doctors may need to rush several patients to a larger city while other weeks they may not need to send anyone.

The new helicopters are worth about $12 million each and are manufactured by AugustaWestland of Italy.

STARS is able to afford such units by way of fundraising and donations. The largest money maker is their lottery which netted over $10 million last year, says Heke. An affiliation agreement with Alberta Health Services pulled in just over $4 million.

As well, STARS serves the southeast corner of British Columbia, which pulls in a little extra spending money for the non-profit society.

STARS is celebrating 25 years of service this year and pride themselves on having quick response times.

Provost News: Who orders the helicopters in an emergency? The local doctors?

Complete story in February 17 edition of The Provost News.
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Students Look to Community to Raise Funds for Haiti Relief
A class of students at Provost Public School will be selling t-shirts and tote bags in an effort to support Haiti victims, following a January 12 earthquake that left parts of the tiny country in ruins.

Money raised will be passed on to the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti via the Red Cross website.

It started with a current event in the Grade 5/6 class about the earthquake which inspired the class to get involved.

“(We’re doing it) because if we were in the same situation and nobody wanted to help us, that’d be pretty bad,” says student Donovan Granger. “But because they’re in that situation, we want to help as much as we can.”

Complete story in February 17 edition of The Provost News.
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25th Year for Men's Basketball Tournament
Photos in February 17 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask: "The Alberta Gov’t. Announced a $4.7 Billion Deficit. Could This Have Been Avoided?"
. . . and we heard answers from Cliff Haggerty, Bev Yeo, Fritz Fleck and Norbert Biever. Check out the February 17 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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