STARS Remembers Tim Stone
STARS Senior Municipal Relations Liaison, Glenda Farnden, wrote to Saddle Hills County recently after hearing of the passing of Tim Stone, and shared some of her thoughts and memories of the past Reeve.
"Tim was the epitome of leadership – insightful, focused, forthright, yet kind, and caring. His innate understanding of what STARS would mean for northern residents, paved the way during the Grande Prairie base’s very humble beginnings (December 2006).
Tim, along with the council (at the time), well understood and embraced the challenges STARS faced, by coming into an area where no one knew what STARS was, or the potential for what
STARS services could mean for the entire northern region.
Tim was a leader. He wasn’t afraid to make hard decisions or take a stand, which is exactly what he did, with council by his side. Saddle Hills County committed one of the leading gifts that supported the building of the QEII Hospital Helipad, so that STARS could land at the receiving hospital with critical patients. Little did anyone know at the time, that during the Grand Opening of the QEII Helipad on December 7, 2007, literally, a life-saving mission unfolded before 250 witnesses in minus 45-degree weather. It was a Saddle Hills County resident whose life was saved that day.
The following year, Saddle Hills County would become the very first northern municipality to pledge operational support for the Grande Prairie base. Saddle Hills County understood the financial vulnerability of a newly established base and the commitment it would take, to continue providing life-saving services and ensure that northern residents had access to emergency critical care.
By 2009, the news headlines read: Saddle Hills sets the bar. Saddle Hills County tripled its contributions to STARS – to help the Grande Prairie base during tough economic times and in hopes that their increased funding would set a trend. It did.
Today, our STARS Grande Prairie base receives over $2M per year from municipalities across the province and northeastern B.C. This united effort is testament to the sustainable funds needed to help offset the $10M per base/cost each year.
Northern municipal support is critical to the hundreds of missions flown each year from the Grande Prairie base alone. Last year, STARS flew over 3,400 missions from the six bases that serve western Canada – and approximately half of these missions occurred in Alberta.
Thank you, Saddle Hills County for continuing to be a Municipal Leader throughout the prairie provinces across Westen Canada and recognizing STARS as an essential service for your residents.
I, along with the Grande Prairie base crew and staff, offer our sincerest condolences. We are forever grateful for the life-saving partnership that we share with Saddle Hills County residents and cherish the day, when we first met Saddle Hills County, (former) Reeve Tim Stone." - Glenda Farnden, STARS
Tim was passionate about supporting the things he saw as positive for his community, STARS being one of them, and even had personal experience dealing with the service. He was gifted a red ring by the organization in recognition of his support, which he wore every day until the end of his life. A positive voice for change, Tim will be greatly missed.
Glenda also shared a copy of the article referenced, with a photo of the late Reeve at it's centre.
A memorial service for Tim will be held tomorrow, November 25, 2023, at the Savanna Rec. Plex, at 2 p.m.
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