HALO and HERO, the other two emergency helicopter services here in our province besides STARS are set to receive additional funding from the Alberta government. Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Jason Copping were in Medicine Hat on Thursday to make the announcement. HALO will be given $1 million and a guaranteed contract with Alberta Health Services and HERO will $2 million with a five year contract.
“Alberta’s government listening to Albertans has put in an action plan to improve EMS services and expand them right across the province. We did so in this year’s balanced budget. Which is the first balanced budget in 14 years with a $64 million increase in annual funding for EMS. Including a $28 million increase in support for ground and helicopter air ambulance services,” says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
“The initial funding negotiations with Alberta Health will continue with our program as we see fit. We want to explore that partnership further and see if we’re using the most efficient way of doing so. We’ll also be working with Minister Copping’s taskforce on what the best capacity is for the system. However, HALO is open to having our own air medical crew members if that is the best path forward. For the time being we will continue to operate as we’ve been doing so for 15 years,” adds HALO CEO, Paul Carolan.
In 2019 and 2020, HALO embarked on 38 rescue missions and HERO flew 62 missions.