07/30/2012 01:04 EDT | Updated 09/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Air ambulance begins night flights in southern Saskatchewan

REGINA - The STARS air ambulance is beginning round-the-clock operations at its base in Regina.

The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society has only operated during the day since the service began in Saskatchewan at the end of April.

It says those hours can be expanded because staff have become comfortable with the terrain and providing care in the air.

Four more pilots, along with eight more flight paramedics and flight nurses, were recruited for the 24-hour operation.

STARS says all its pilots are certified in the use of night-vision goggles which help reach patients after dark.

The non-profit organization is expected to open a new base in Saskatoon later this year.