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STARS gets a financial booster to keep it in the air


The new STARS Air Ambulance fleet got a boost this week thanks to Ford dealers across the province.

The paramedic team got a call about a $500,000 donation from Pegasus Project – a multi year initiative led by Prairie Ford Dealers and Ford Motors Canada, which will go to the non-profit air ambulance service.

“At $13,000,000 a piece it takes a lot of support,” Andrea Robertson, President and CEO of STARS told CTV News.

That’s the price tag on the newest additions to the fleet; the Airbus H145 helicopter. Saskatoon’s H145 has been in the air since 2019. The Regina  helicopter took flight in the summer of 2021.

Another locally-built vehicle helped in the fundraising efforts. Some of the money that the 1968 Ford Mustang, renamed the Pegasus Mustang, earned from the auction went to the STARS donation. 

“It wasn’t hard when we started to talk to the Ford dealers. You’ve seen the red helicopters in your community, in the farms around your community. You’ve seen them fly overhead. You saw what they did in the tragic Humboldt bus crash,” Vaughn Wyant, Pegasus Project co-chair said.

The other most recent high profile trips the helicopter took was to the James Smith Cree Nation mass stabbing tragedy. Four paramedic crew members made the trip and were joined by the two other provincial teams on the scene.

“It came during our shift change so the night crew responded first, and when we knew the extent of the incident, we sent Regina crew up and then the day crew up from Saskatoon,” STARS' Darcy McKay told CTV News.

STARS transport is unique because of the time-saving with air travel, and the care while in transit is as close to hospital care as possible.

“It’s time and some of the equipment and medications. We have blood on board which the ground ambulances do not,” McKay said.

Saskatchewan's STARS program started in 2011 and has one helicopter stationed in Regina and two in Saskatoon.

The air amublance has been called out 85 times in the month of September alone.

The provincial government purchased one helicopter earlier this year and community fundraising paid for the remainder of the fleet. Top Stories

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