Corporate cash added to Sask. air ambulance plan
A promised new air ambulance system for Saskatchewan, using helicopters, has attracted more corporate dollars, the province announced Thursday.
The latest contribution of $27 million is coming from PotashCorp.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said the donation was timely, considering how he had just recently argued the company should not be sold to foreign interests.
"That's why we wanted PotashCorp to stay PotashCorp in the fall," Wall said. "This is a huge, huge donation to a very worthwhile cause that's going to make helicopters fly and save people's lives."
According to a previous government news release, a number of Saskatchewan-based companies are contributing to the new service.
On April 6, the province noted that a PotashCorp rival, Mosaic, donated $5.5 million to the program.
That was in addition to $5 million coming from another company, Crescent Point Energy.
The province says it will spend $5 million on the initiative this year, and another $10 million annually.
Other corporate supporters include Husky Energy, Rawlco Radio and Enbridge.
The province said an Alberta-based contractor, known as STARS, will operate the service for Saskatchewan.
The plan is to have service in place by the spring of 2012 for southern Saskatchewan, and service for central and northern Saskatchewan available in the fall of 2012.
The service will focus on transporting critically ill and injured patients in rural and remote areas.
It will be an additional service to Saskatchewan's existing road ambulance and fixed-wing air ambulance systems.