STARS is another step closer to renewing its helicopter fleet, thanks to a generous $500,000 gift from the MD of Greenview, a loyal and long-time ally.
Reeve Dale Smith from the MD of Greenview stated, “STARS will always be a valued service to our residents, workers, and recreation enthusiasts within the MD of Greenview and across Northern Alberta. Helping to purchase a helicopter to operate in the region is a natural fit and an easy decision for council.
“With this latest investment of $500,000 toward the purchase of a medically equipped H145 helicopter, Greenview is pleased to support STARS to provide security, peace of mind, and enhance our emergency services,” said Smith.
STARS and the MD of Greenview have shared a special partnership since the Grande Prairie base opened in 2006, providing operational support of $210,000 annually, on top of this most recent fleet gift.
“Having access to STARS can mean the difference between life and death,” said Wayne Brown, Regional Fire Chief for Greenview. “This new helicopter will ensure that the Greenview community has access to leading-edge critical care, no matter where the emergency occurs.”
In June 2018, STARS unveiled a multi-year plan to replace its fleet of BK117 and AW139 aircraft with nine new medically equipped Airbus H145 helicopters, at the cost of
$13 million each.
“The bulk of our aging fleet is no longer being built and is becoming costlier to maintain,” said Andrea Robertson, STARS president and CEO.
“Additionally, independent assessments of the sustainability of our fleet told us we needed to move from two aircraft types to one.”
An extensive review resulted in the selection of the H145 aircraft as the best option for STARS’ new fleet. It offers cutting-edge technology, advanced safety features, and an updated version of the medical interior found in STARS’ existing helicopters.
STARS has been flying missions in Alberta with the new H145 aircraft since July 2019, thanks to early support from the Government of Canada and the Alberta government. The remainder of the new fleet is expected to be delivered by 2022.
“More than 35 years ago STARS was built by the community for the community, and the MD of Greenview has demonstrated that once again with this generous donation,” said Robertson.
“These new aircraft are an investment in our ability to serve the most critically ill and injured patients across Western Canada for decades to come, and we’re incredibly grateful to the MD of Greenview for their financial support toward a new H145 helicopter at the Grande Prairie base, helping get us closer to our overall fleet renewal goal.”
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