The Alberta provincial government has increased funding to STARS Air Ambulance by more than double.

Their 2022 budget will increase annual funding for STARS from $7 million to over $15 million.

That will cover around half of STARS' annual operating costs.

Present at the announcement were Premier Jason Kenney, health minister Jason Copping, and Highwood MLA RJ Sigurdson.

Sigurdson is a co-chair on the Provincial EMS Advisory Committee, which aims to address the province's EMS service levels.

Speaking at the announcement, Sigurdson said it's just one important boost for Alberta's EMS.

"Investing in all aspects of emergency medical services including helicopter air ambulance is something near and dear to me. As you know, budget 2022 provides 64 million in additional emergency medical services funding to help ease the pressure the system has been experiencing and to support key initiatives as we move forward."

STARS often sees use in remote and rural communities, something the premier touched on.

"This significant increase in investment will allow STARS’ highly specialized medical crews to continue serving Albertans, especially in rural communities. The additional support for helicopter air ambulance services is part of delivering on our commitment to provide Albertans with a stronger and resilient health system that can meet the needs of Albertans when and where they need that care."

The EMS Advisory Committee will continue to provide recommendations to the province and is currently engaging with frontline workers for feedback, said Sigurdson.