As the longtime “safety guy” at FortisAlberta, Dan Thayer knew what to expect as he prepared for a weekend in the woods.

He diligently plotted out his location, told family and friends where he would be and made sure he and his hunting companion had cell phone service.

They didn’t plan for a life-threatening incident.

Thankfully, STARS plans for the unexpected.

When Dan sliced his leg with a hunting knife and began to bleed out in a remote location off a forestry trunk road in northern Alberta, he was overwhelmed with emotions.

“I thought I was going to die right there,” he told STARS when he reunited with his crew a year later. “For a split second I thought, ‘I am going to die right here and I haven’t even told anybody how I feel.’ ”

While he waited for the helicopter to arrive to take him to hospital for urgent care, Dan and his friend tended to his wound, creating a tourniquet from clothes and a belt to stifle the bleeding. As he began to lose consciousness, Dan thought about his family and friends and the wonderful life he’d led. He asked his friend to tell his daughter how much he loved her.

He also thought about his workplace, FortisAlberta, where he is manager, corporate safety and environment, and his 32 years in the industry.

FortisAlberta has been an ally of STARS for about half that time.

Dan says he wouldn’t be alive without STARS and is so grateful that he works for a company that supports our service. Likewise, STARS has benefitted greatly from the generous support of FortisAlberta, who have given $1.7 million to STARS and recently renewed their partnership with a $400,000 gift.

“It’s one of our longest corporate partnerships and we couldn’t be more proud,” said STARS’ Gurpreet Lail, executive director, Alberta Foundation. “We know we couldn’t care for patients like Dan if we didn’t have the support of allies like FortisAlberta.”

For FortisAlberta, supporting STARS is a natural fit given the number of employees working in remote locations.

“STARS has provided life-saving service to so many Albertans over the years, including some of our own employees and customers, said Jennifer MacGowan, director, customer experience, FortisAlberta. “We sponsor the Human Patient Simulator Program, which has visited 51 communities in Alberta and provided training for 847 medical professionals. We are honoured to have a great, ongoing relationship with such an important organization.”

Dan, who has recovered from his injuries, couldn’t agree more.

“I always knew that STARS was important and never dreamed that I would have to depend on it but I am thankful,” said Dan. “I am so proud that FortisAlberta supports STARS.”