Saskatchewan Air Ambulance celebrates 75 years of saving lives
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of Saskatchewan Air Ambulance, the oldest, non-military, government air ambulance in the world. The vital, emergency response service flies people inside and, on occasion, outside the province to receive the appropriate medical care they need. "Saskatchewan Air Ambulance provides a critical service for the people of the province," SaskBuilds and Procurement Minister Jim Reiter said. "It has a unique and rich history dating back to 1946 and is a lifeline for all corners of Saskatchewan."
To celebrate this milestone, the Government of Saskatchewan is featuring videos, photos and stories on Saskatchewan.ca and social media accounts from 12 to 16 April 2021. These stories give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the people who keep Saskatchewan Air Ambulance flying high and saving lives.
The service now has more than 70 pilots, aircraft engineers, flight nurses, flight paramedics and administrative staff who are dedicated to providing medevac services to the people of Saskatchewan. From transporting critical patients in northern communities to handling facility transfers for high risk patients, both inside and outside of the province, Air Ambulance does it all.
It’s easy to take their modern medical equipment and tools for granted but Air Ambulance was seen as a marvel of hope for remote communities in the 1940s. Back then, trains ran on limited schedules, highways were rough, and winters could mean total isolation during emergencies. Back then, the Norseman-brand planes flew at 240km/hr. By comparison, today’s King Air 200 fleet cruises at 500km/hr in all weather conditions anywhere in the province without refuelling.
What hasn’t changed over 75 years is the resolve and dedication of Air Ambulance staff. Crews are available 24 hours a day and they service every corner of the province from their base in Saskatoon at John G Diefenbaker International Airport. From Estevan and Frontier to Stony Rapids and Uranium City, Air Ambulance provides a lifeline for people who need it most. The four modern King Air planes on call are able to fly anywhere in North America.
"Saskatchewan Air Ambulance has been a great partner helping us provide high quality care to the people of this province," Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said. "This anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the lives they have saved and the critical role they play helping ensure we can get to every corner of this province to help Saskatchewan residents when they are most in need."
Since 1946, Saskatchewan Air Ambulance has transported more than 71 000 patients and currently averages approximately 110 flights per month. Two out of three patient transports are triaged as urgent or emergent requiring critical care, meaning they are in the highest need when Air Ambulance arrives. Medical crews are experienced and highly trained to provide critical care for any patient.
Source: Saskatchewan Air Ambulance