Long promised Fort McMurray helipad mired in delays
August 18, 2015 By The Globe and Mail
The emergency call came in around 6 a.m. A vehicle had veered off Highway 881, rolling several times before coming to a stop near the northern Alberta hamlet of Janvier.
The 19-year-old driver was thrown out of the vehicle and severely hurt. An air ambulance was called to take him to Fort McMurray’s only hospital – or at least part of the way. The hospital has no helipad, which means critically ill and wounded patients have to endure landing at the airport and being loaded into a ground ambulance for a roughly 20-minute ride to the hospital.
In this case, the two paramedics with the patient felt he might not survive the ride, and they asked the pilots to instead land at Fire Hall No. 1, about eight blocks from the hospital. The fire hall isn’t certified for landings, but the paramedics concluded the shaved minutes could make the difference between life and death. | READ MORE