Im­por­tant ad­di­tion

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE -

That 26-minute sell­ing fea­ture all those years ago had Brown’s com­mit­tee and ser­vice clubs push­ing for funds, vol­un­teers, and in-kind help.

“We were beg­ging for funds. We had to buy spe­cial re­in­forc­ing stuff, and we had to buy lights and so on … but we had to have vol­un­teers too. The com­mu­nity just got be­hind us. There’s no other way of putting it,” said Brown.

Park­ing lot

Brown said set­ting down on a proper pad is what pi­lots pre­fer.

“They were land­ing in the park­ing lot of the hos­pi­tal here,” Brown ex­plained. “When they put a call in for the he­li­copter, this is where Chief Cook got into it. He would come to the hos­pi­tal and try and find out who owned these cars and if he could get the keys to them and get the cars moved to see if the heli- copter could land.”

Cook said the fire de­part­ment would have a truck on the scene for safety rea­sons and his of­fi­cers would have to stay on site un­til the pa­tient was sta­bi­lized and able to be loaded onto the chop­per. He said that could be a few min­utes or as long as five hours.

Health sys­tem

“The other side of this coin is the health sys­tem,” Brown said. “I made a phone call at ap­prox­i­mately at 3:30 on a Satur­day morn­ing and was picked up, taken to the hos­pi­tal, sent to Hal­i­fax, had two stents in­stalled, and was back in my room in the In­fir­mary by 3:30 that af­ter­noon. This all hap­pened within 12 hours. You’ve got to think that some­where along the way the health ser­vice is not quite as bad as it’s made out to be.”

Cook said get­ting the he­li­copter pad built was a high­light of his ca­reer as Mid­dle­ton PD chief. That it saved his friend Ron Brown’s life, well, that was good too.

“It just goes to show the im­por­tance of such a he­li­pad re­quire­ment at our hos­pi­tal,” Cook said. While sup­port was high back 18 years ago, Cook did hear some crit­i­cism, peo­ple ask­ing why have a he­li­cop- ter pad if the hos­pi­tal is down­siz­ing?

“My at­ti­tude was that was all the more rea­son to have it,” Cook said. “The gov­ern­ment, see­ing us build­ing that he­li­pad, we weren’t giv­ing them the okay to down­size.”

Boy air­lifted

Nei­ther Brown nor Cook had to wait long for the Sol­diers Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal he­li­pad to be used.

“I re­mem­ber the first air flight in there,” said Cook. “It was a young child. He might have been five or six years old. He was a very se­vere di­a­betic and on this par­tic­u­lar day the first flight in was for that young child.”

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