ORNGE can now land at Health Science Centre in Winnipeg

Kenora Daily Miner
May 16, 2017
By Kenora Daily Miner
ORNGE Air Ambulance now has a direct route to the Health Science Centre helipad in Winnipeg.

Two months of negotiations were completed on May 1 when the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and ORNGE announced that the air ambulance service had privileges to land on the helipad at Winnipeg’s largest hospital, thereby dramatically reducing commute times for critically ill patients between Northern Ontario and Winnipeg.

“Our flight time is only 48 minutes from here to the [Health Science Centre] helipad so we were essentially doubling our time going to the airport and switching to a land ambulance,” said Anthony Sharp, ORNGE Kenora base manager. “It means for patients who have trauma or cardiac issue or a stroke that they’ll get the care they need much more quickly and that’s great news for patients in Northwestern Ontario.”

Previously, ORNGE Air Ambulance would fly into the Winnipeg International Airport, move the patient into a land ambulance and then head out to the Health Science Centre, which added about 40 minutes to the trip.

Sharp said the 40 minute drive equates to about 60 per cent of the time it now takes for ORNGE to get from Lake of the Woods District Hospital to the Health Science Centre now, which is about a 48 minute trip.

The helipad at the Health Science Centre opened in January 2017. STARS had an agreement with the WRHA to land on the helipad starting in January and has flown about 100 missions in four months.

“WRHA had indicated to us that once the pad was open we would start to work on getting get the protocols in place in order to do it safely.”

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