STARS lifts off with podcast

The library is selling books. Don’t worry, it’s cool. These are older, less popular books (and movies, and audio books) that were slated to be discontinued. The library will always have lots of other books that it keeps for you to borrow. Lo prometo.

Their mission is to save lives by air when ambulances can’t get there by road fast enough. STARS Air Ambulance has done this innumerable times since it first began operations out of Calgary in 1985.

Now, it’s taking to the air in an entirely different way. STARS has launched its new podcast on the electronic airwaves.

Mission Ready is a podcast that promises to take listeners deep inside some of STARS’s most harrowing and fascinating missions.

“Often, these missions are deep and complex, so we wanted to find a way to really take people inside these emergencies and highlight how we care for critically ill and injured patients,” said Terri Strunk, chief fundraising and brand officer at STARS. The people who come forward to share their stories do so in such a compelling way, the missions become highly personalized and poignant to the listener.”

Mission Ready’s first season will feature the tale of biologist Marcia Birkigt who was attacked by a massive cougar at a work site. Brutally injured and in dire pain, she lay on a mountaintop as the predator paced around her. She couldn’t wait two hours for the ground ambulance. That’s where STARS and its highly-trained team comes in.

Listeners will follow along with responders as witnesses offer commentary on some of the most compelling emergency calls with highlights from actual dispatch recordings being used to add further drama to the stories of the emergency rescues of critically ill and injured people. Real doctors, nurses, and paramedics from the crew will be in conversation to emphasize the importance of the work that STARS does.

“We are honored to be a long-term partner and the presenting sponsor for the Mission Ready podcast, allowing STARS to share the stories of what goes into being there when they are needed most,” said JoeAnne Hardy, president of WBM Technologies.

“In our inaugural season, biologist Marcia Birkigt has been attacked by a massive cougar at a work site and is lying in the dark on a mountaintop, bleeding and in excruciating pain. The threatening cougar peace. Ground ambulance is at least two hours away and Marcia can’t wait that long. Over the six episodes, you won’t want to miss the remarkable connection this patient has to the crew sent to help her and how they and the other people on scene cope in the aftermath.”

Mission Ready is available everywhere podcasts can be found, including Apple Podcasts, Google, Amazon, and Spotify, or you can follow this link at

STARS now operates 24/7 from bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. It is a charitable non-profit organization that operates thanks in large part to public donations and other fundraising efforts, including its STARS Home Lottery. March 23 is the deadline to buy tickets to its current lottery featuring three grand prize homes in Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge. The draw will take place on April 7, the same day for its Lucky STARS 50/50 draw worth up to $9 million. Currently tallying around $6.1 million, the winner will receive half of total ticket sales.

Spring Book Sale is back

It seems like it has been years since the St. Albert Public Library has hosted its annual spring book sale … because it has. The good news is that the sale is making its triumphant return at the end of the month.

Look for books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, and magazines to stock up your home shelves when the tables are set out on Thursday, March 31 through Monday, April 4 during open library hours. Prices range from $1 for pocket books, children’s books, and all audio visual materials, to $2 each for hardcovers and trade books. The ever-popular fill-a-bag option will return for the sale: buy a bag for $20 and fill it up as you see fit.

The Friends of the St. Albert Public Library are also presenting their Easter Purdy’s Chocolatier Fundraiser. Visit to check out some sweet deals and make sure to get your orders in by Saturday, March 26.

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