Conexus Credit Union partners with STARS to help renew fleet and save lives

September 4, 2020

SASKATOON, Sept. 4, 2020STARS is another step closer to renewing its helicopter fleet, thanks to a $500,000 gift from Conexus Credit Union. Eric Dillon, CEO of Conexus, together with STARS made the announcement today at the STARS air ambulance base in Saskatoon.

“Investing in basic human needs, such as critical health services, is foundational to Conexus’ purpose of improving the well-being of our members and communities across Saskatchewan, and we believe that by putting the right tools in the hands of the best talent, you won’t only save time but save lives,” said Eric Dillon, CEO, Conexus.

“On behalf of our members and employees, we are proud to partner with STARS, allowing them to continue delivering these critical health services across the province and ensuring all Saskatchewan residents have access to this life-saving care when they need it most, now and for future generations to come.”

Also speaking at today’s event was Chad Rogers, a Conexus Credit Union member from Assiniboia, whose wife Sonja also works for Conexus. The pair know first-hand the value of STARS and are proud to be associated with a community-minded organization like Conexus, whose support is helping to sustain the helicopter air ambulance.

“I owe my life to STARS,” said Rogers, who was cared for and transported by STARS in 2014, following a traumatic farming accident. “Having STARS in our province has changed my life and my family’s life. Thanks to all the donors like Conexus for making it possible.”

As part of their partnership, Conexus is also proud to support The Pegasus Project – a unique fundraising initiative created by community leaders to sell a custom-built, one-of-a-kind 1968 Ford Mustang 427 at the world-famous Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2022, with proceeds also going to STARS’ new fleet.

Fleet renewal important for STARS’ sustainability

In June 2018, STARS unveiled a multi-year plan to replace its fleet of BK117 and AW139 aircraft with nine new medically equipped Airbus H145 helicopters, at a cost of CAD $13 million each.

“The bulk of our aging fleet is no longer being built and is becoming costlier to maintain,” said Andrea Robertson, STARS president and CEO. “Additionally, independent assessments of our fleet’s sustainability told us we needed to move from two aircraft types to one.”

An extensive review resulted in the selection of the H145 aircraft as the best option for STARS’ new fleet. It offers cutting-edge technology, advanced safety features, and an updated version of the medical interior found in STARS’ existing helicopters.

To commemorate today’s gift announcement, Robertson and Dillon unveiled the Conexus logo on the rear door of STARS’ first H145 helicopter in Saskatchewan, which has been flying missions from the Saskatoon base since October 2019. The remainder of the new fleet is expected to be delivered in 2021.

“Community support is so critical to our operations, particularly through these challenging times, and we’re so thankful that our allies continue to help us build the next STARS fleet,” said Robertson.

“These new aircraft are an investment in our ability to serve the people of Western Canada for decades to come, and we’re incredibly grateful to the team and members of Conexus for their financial support and leadership to help get us closer to our goal.”

For media inquiries, photos or b-roll, contact:
Mark Oddan, STARS | mediainfo@stars.ca | 306-565-8000
Courtney Rink, Conexus Credit Union | publicrelations@conexus.ca | 306-751-8201

Learn more about STARS’ fleet renewal project at fightinflight.ca

Simply put, STARS fights for life. Since we embarked on our first mission in 1985, we’ve been driven by the goal of providing people the vital care they need when they need it the most. Whether it’s offering hands-on training to rural medical providers or providing rapid, emergency medical transportation for the critically ill and injured, we operate 24/7 from bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, anticipating and acting when people need our help. Learn more at STARS.CA

Conexus is a forward-thinking credit union committed to our members and their financial well-being. Re-investing in our community is in our DNA and rooted in our co-operative principles. In 2019, we supported 151 initiatives and invested $3.1 million through our Community Investment program.  Located across Saskatchewan, we are Saskatchewan’s largest and Canada’s sixth-largest credit union. Visit conexus.ca for more information.