December 04, 2018

Province and Nutrien Renew Commitment to STARS and New Helicopter Fleet

The Government of Saskatchewan is committing to renew its 10-year agreement with Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) beyond 2020 to provide helicopter air medical service in Saskatchewan.  The province will also fund one of the three new helicopters needed in Saskatchewan as part of the organization’s plan for fleet renewal.

“We are pleased to announce our government’s renewed agreement with STARS,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said.  “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to timely access to emergency medical services for the residents of Saskatchewan, particularly those in rural and remote areas.  Thank you to STARS for their continued service to the people of Saskatchewan, and to Nutrien for their ongoing support.”

Nutrien announced its renewed support for STARS in Saskatchewan, committing funding toward the purchase of a new H145 helicopter.  The first H145 will arrive in Saskatchewan in 2019, with the others being phased in under STARS’ renewal plan by 2023.

The financial support from Nutrien has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the STARS air medical service in the province.  In addition to providing a helicopter, Nutrien also provides the hangar used as STARS’ Saskatoon base.

“Nutrien is proud to renew its long-term support of STARS and ensure this vital service can be enhanced for the people of Saskatchewan,” Nutrien Vice-President of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Candace Laing said.  “We have operations that span the province and we know the importance of having access to emergency care for our communities.”

STARS is launching a fundraising drive to finance the third helicopter for Saskatchewan, as part of its Keep the Fight in Flight campaign announced in June 2018.

“We couldn’t be part of the chain of survival in this province without the tremendous support of the Government of Saskatchewan and generous allies like Nutrien,” STARS President and Chief Executive Officer Andrea Robertson said.  “We thank them immensely for their renewed commitment to our operations and to our new fleet, which is an investment in our ability to serve the people of this province for decades to come.”

Since beginning Saskatchewan operations in April 2012, STARS has transported more than 4,100 patients and has provided specialized critical care training and hands-on simulation to thousands of health care providers across the province.

The Saskatchewan government provides approximately half of the funding for STARS operations in Saskatchewan, with the other half provided by generous support from the business community, municipalities, service clubs, and individual donors.

Saskatchewan’s emergency medical services include volunteer medical first responders, ground ambulance, the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance fixed-wing airplane and STARS helicopter medevac services.  Together, they ensure service to critically ill or injured patients across the province and are particularly important to our citizens living in rural and remote locations.

For photos and broadcast-quality videos of the new H145 and existing BK117 helicopters, view STARS’ image inventory and submit a request at