STARS, September 25, 2014 - Saskatoon, SK – Community leaders and dignitaries attended a celebration today recognizing the generosity of a Saskatchewan-based organization and their dedication to safety.
PotashCorp, the world’s leading potash producer by capacity, helped STARS establish their life-saving organization in the province, and provided the AW139 helicopter and Saskatoon base, valued at $27 million, which were officially launched today.
The AW139 cost approximately $16 million, including $14 million for the helicopter and $2 million for the medical interior. The Government of Saskatchewan provides STARS $10.5 million per year to help with operating costs for the Regina and Saskatoon bases. The remaining funds are raised by STARS through donations from corporations, community groups and individuals.
“This is a proud day for our government and for the people of Saskatchewan,” said Premier Brad Wall. “As our province continues to grow, the need for STARS and fast, flexible emergency services is increasing. I want to thank PotashCorp for the tremendous support - bringing the new longer-range helicopter to our province. It will serve patients better and help save lives in our most remote communities.”
“I’m so lucky to be here,” says STARS Very Important Patient (VIP) Carrie Derin, who spoke before the event at STARS’ Annual General Meeting. During a family quad outing, the mother of two sustained a lacerated liver, broken ribs and significant blood loss after a poplar tree pierced through her abdomen. “I’ve worked in health care for many years; I just never thought I would be using STARS.”
Jochen Tilk, PotashCorp’s president and CEO says the company and its employees hope their partnership and commitment to STARS will have a long-term impact on the lives of people in Saskatchewan. “Our investments are designed to address the needs of our communities.” He says supporting a new, longer-range helicopter and base for STARS means more patients will have access to emergency care when they need it most.
“The people who will truly benefit from PotashCorp’s tremendous gift are those living, working and travelling throughout Saskatchewan,” said STARS President and CEO, Andrea Robertson. “We are so grateful to PotashCorp for their support. They have helped us realize our vision of bringing this new helicopter and base to the people of this province.”
“At STARS, it’s all about the patient. Committed partners like PotashCorp and the Government of Saskatchewan allow our non-profit organization to continue to provide the very best in emergency care to critically ill and injured patients.”
STARS is a non-profit air ambulance organization that provides specialized emergency medical care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. Our physicians, nurses, paramedics and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives. STARS has bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.