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New STARS helicopter on its way to Alberta
Published Saturday, March 16, 2019 12:33PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, March 16, 2019 6:40PM MDT
A critical air ambulance service in Alberta is getting a boost from the government in the form of a brand new helicopter.
STARS Air Ambulance announced plans to replace its fleet of aging BK117s last year and now the provincial government is providing the life-saving organization with its first $13M Airbus H145.
Officials say the addition of the new helicopter, scheduled to arrive in the spring, will reduce training and maintenance costs while enhancing pilot, patient and practitioner safety.
“STARS has a long history performing thousands of life-saving missions across our province. We’re glad to partner with an organization essential to emergency care in Alberta. These funds, along with the generosity of donors, will ensure that helicopter-based emergency medical services are there when Albertans need them the most,” said Sarah Hoffman, Alberta’s Minster of Health, in a release.
The service made the decision to replace its fleet because it’s been difficult to find replacement parts and keep them running.
In 2018, STARS flew more than 1,450 missions from bases in Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.
The organization has flown more than 40,000 missions since 1985, using the same BK117 fleet the entire time.