The Government of Alberta currently provides funding through Alberta Health Services (AHS) to the following helicopter-based air ambulance service providers:

  • Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) from bases in Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie, and

  • Helicopter Emergency Response Organization (HERO) from Fort McMurray.


STARS received formal recognition as an air ambulance service in 1988, after launching its original life- saving service in 1985, and has served Calgary and area since then. A base was added in Edmonton in 1991 and then in Grande Prairie in 2006. In 2015, STARS celebrated 30 years of care with 29,000 missions carried out in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.1

Our Recommendations

  1. Immediately publish and make the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Review report public.

  2. Commit to providing equitable funding for all HEMS providers across the province.

  3. Ensure that all communities in Alberta have access to timely, life-saving, helicopter-based air ambulance service.

Download The Policy Brief



If you have any questions, contact Jason Leslie at or (780) 425-4180 ext. 4.