Sask. Crowns renew $10M pledge to help fund STARS air ambulance
5 Crowns to give $2M each over five-year period
Five Saskatchewan Crown Corporations have committed a combined total of $10 million over a five-year period to help STARS Air Ambulance service in the province.
SaskTel, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SGI and the Crown Investments Corporation will contribute $2 million each over the next five years.
It is the third time the Crowns have funded this amount toward STARS in Saskatchewan.
"It's a huge lift," said STARS CEO Andrea Robertson.
STARS has two bases in the province, in Saskatoon and Regina. Robertson said the average cost to run one base is $10 million per year.
In 2021, the provincial government renewed a 10-year contract to fund 50 per cent of STARS operations.
Last year, the provincial government also pledged $13 million to help the organization purchase a new helicopter.
Robertson was standing in front of one of the new helicopters, the Airbus H145, which has been recently added to the organization's fleet.
"We flew a helicopter called the BK117 for 38 years and it was simply difficult to find parts and be able to repair them," Robertson said.
"We have invested in this new aircraft and we consider this a generational investment. We flew the old aircraft 38 years, we anticipate we'll fly this aircraft for decades and decades to come."
"Saskatchewan's Crowns have recognized the value of STARS since its inception in Saskatchewan and have supported this essential air ambulance service for 10 years," said Minister for Crown Investments Corporation Don Morgan.
Robertson said STARS is part of the wider provincial health-care system.
"It's like bringing an intensive care unit right to the scene."
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