The government of Canada has announced a $65-million grant award to Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) to fund the purchase of five new helicopters.
These five new helicopters, part of a fleet renewal plan that includes the purchase of nine new aircraft, will help to increase STARS’ availability of service, and improve their flexibility to respond to emergencies across the region. The plan also streamlines flight operations from two current helicopter types to a single-model fleet, resulting in less time and money spent on maintenance and training.
Since 1985, STARS, a not-for-profit organization, has been a critical player in the emergency management field in Western Canada. STARS coordinates and delivers rapid and specialized helicopter emergency medical services across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British Columbia, including in Indigenous communities and national parks.
STARS has flown over 40,000 missions, providing rapid and specialized helicopter emergency medical services to patients who are critically ill or injured. Recently, STARS has been involved in responding to several high profile emergency management events, including the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, the school shooting in La Loche, the Fort McMurray wildfires, and the 2013 Spring floods in Calgary.