Cypress Regional Hospital to build heli-pad for STARS
Now that STARS is in the air serving Saskatchewan, the Cypress Regional Hospital will be the first facility in the Health Region to build a ground level heli-pad to safely accommodate STARS Air Ambulance service.
“STARS is flying and they are able to land in a variety of different locations,” said Cypress Health Region CEO Beth Vachon. “They don’t have to land on a helipad, but with an ambulance service offered by helicopter, it’s actually Transport Canada that says you need to start installing proper safe landing places.
Vachon explained that when STARS is responding to an emergency, the helicopter can land on grid roads, highways, fields, “wherever it is they need to, and that is the value of helicopter is they have far more flexibility where they’re able to land as opposed to airplanes,” but upon arrival at an urban centre a proper pad is required for the safety of patients, EMS personnel and hospital staff.
The site they have chosen is at ground level on existing hospital property, but the Health Region is also considering future sites at other facilities in the region.
“There’s actually been a lot of discussion and work around the province with the Ministry, STARS and all of the regions looking at where’s the spot that makes the most sense within regions and where a region would start.
“We’re also looking at spots around the region that into the future might be strategically well placed to have heli-pads in other parts of the region as well.”
The cost of the heli-pad has yet to be determined, but will be considerably less expensive for the Health Region at its location on the outskirts of the city, with the option to build at ground level, than hospitals in areas surrounded by urban development.
“They’re looking at an area that’s already been leveled, and because it’s sitting on our hospital site, it likely won’t be as onerous as some regions might be facing, depending on where they’re located and what they need to do around their infrastructure to accommodate that,” Vachon said.
“But with our hospital being where it is and on the edge of town right now, we’re in a good position that it’s not going to cost as much as … hospitals in inner cities and how that works.”