(Contributed image).

STARS to start fundraising for new helicopters

First new Airbus H145 expected to be delivered next year

STARS is looking to the future with the delivery of its first new Airbus H145 helicopter in 2019.

The rest of the new air-ambulance fleet is expected to be brought to STARS’s six bases in Western Canada over the next five years. In Alberta, STARS needs five new helicopters to operate from three bases; in Calgary, Edmonton and Grand Prairie.

Each medically equipped aircraft costs about $13 million. The non-profit, charitable organization will launch a campaign to seek funding from the community and government to help with the new fleet purchase.

The older model helicopters now in use by STARS will also be sold after the new fleet is in place to help offset the cost.

“While we await the arrival of our new helicopters, our existing fleet will continue to serve our patients reliably and safely,” said Andrea Robertson, CEO of STARS. “You can count on us to be there for the next patient who needs us.”

STARS is unveiling a renewal plan to replace current models with a streamlined, unified helicopter fleet. Robertson said, “We need to update and standardize our aircraft fleet, and this is the first step… The new fleet is an investment in our future, helping us continue to provide critical care services for our children, grandchildren and beyond.”

STARS reviewed the long-term sustainability of its current models: the legacy BK117 and the AW139. The assessment indicated the necessity of phasing out aging, costly-to-fix helicopters.

Robertson said, “A unified fleet is considered best practice in terms of safety, fleet management, dispatch flexibility and cost effectiveness.”

The Airbus H145 aircraft was selected as the best option for STARS’s new fleet. The technologically advanced model has an updated version of the medical interior found in STARS’s existing aircraft.

STARS has been operating since 1985 with the goal of providing all residents with the emergency care they need. Outside of Alberta, STARS operates in Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

Just Posted

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

MOSCOW — France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Chicago police: Man killed by police appeared to be armed

CHICAGO — Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a… Continue reading

New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, injures 24 others

BERNALILLO, N.M. — A crash involving a commercial passenger bus and three… Continue reading

Police officer, bystander die from gunshot wounds

BOSTON — A Massachusetts police officer and bystander died Sunday from wounds… Continue reading

Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit

HELSINKI — President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top… Continue reading

Stolen firetruck stopped after wild chase in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police chased a stolen firetruck across four Northern California… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes in B.C.

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month