From Calgary Sun: http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/07/24/all-female-grande-prairie-stars-crew-flaunts-a-little-gender-pride-with-selfie
It was to be a girls’ flight out.
And the four-woman team couldn’t resist snapping a multi-selfie of
one of the rare occasions an entire STARS air ambulance helicopter crew
was female, said pilot Karen Coulter.
“It doesn’t happen all that often, not that we don’t enjoy working
with our male counterparts,” said Coulter, 43, who’s been flying for 13
“It’s just nice for us to see that we have so many females in the industry.”
The Grande Prairie crew boasts another woman pilot, one who’s on maternity leave, she added.
On Thursday, the four crew members — paramedic Deb Wnuk, nurse Kelly
Holt and pilots Coulter and Jen Thiel — were together again as their
work schedule dictates.
But bad weather prevented them from responding to a motor vehicle
accident at Valleyview and what sounded like a severe bee sting reaction
That could be a typical day aloft for any STARS crew, regardless of
gender, said Coulter who shares her gender with her boss, STARS
President Andrea Robertson.
“The conversations are different,” she said.
Dealing with difficult calls, particularly those involving children,
impact both male and female crews hard, “though the men are usually more
stoic,” said Coulter.
Of STARS’ aviation and medical staff, 30% are female, with four women
pilots — three quarters of the latter based in Grande Prairie.
STARS officials say there are fewer than 100 female helicopter pilots in Canada.
While the complexion of STARS personnel is continually evolving, some traditions remain the same.
“One of the male pilots brought us bouquets of flowers on Wednesday,” said Coulter.