The Saskatchewan government has renewed its commitment to STARS air ambulance past 2020.
Government officials announced Tuesday a new 10-year agreement for STARS to provide helicopter air medical services in the province, along with funding one of three new H145 helicopters.
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to timely access to emergency medical services for the residents of Saskatchewan, particularly those in rural and remote areas,” said Greg Ottenbreit, the province’s rural and remote health minister.
Nutrien will fund the second helicopter and funding for the third will be part of a fundraising drive by STARS.
“Nutrien is proud to renew its long-term support of STARS and ensure this vital service can be enhanced for the people of Saskatchewan,” said Candace Lang, Nutrien’s vice-president of sustainability and stakeholder relations.
“We have operations that span the province and we know the importance of having access to emergency care for our communities.”
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The H145 helicopters will replace the existing BK117 helicopters. Each helicopter comes at a cost of about $13 million.
STARS has transported over 4,100 patients since operations started in April 2012, and has provided critical care training to health professionals across the province.
The Saskatchewan government provides roughly 50 per cent of operational funding for STARS, with the remainder coming through individual donations, municipalities, service clubs, and the business community.
– With a file from CHQR’s Peter Watts
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