Northern Health launches helipad review process for Fort St. John

Northern Health launches helipad review process for Fort St. John 11 Mar, 13, Source: Northern Health

Northern Health, working with the British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS), has engaged a third party facilitator to lead a review of the case for a helipad near the Fort St. John Hospital.

At present, some patients are brought by helicopter from remote locations directly to the Fort St. John Airport. They are then moved by ground ambulance to the new Fort St. John Hospital, or transferred by fixed-wing aircraft to another hospital. This practice will be reviewed, as will options for a helipad at or near the hospital.

Northern Health has appointed an independent facilitator to oversee and manage the review process. David Marshall, Executive Director of the Fraser Basin Council, will work with a committee of representatives from the following organizations: Northern Health, BCAS, the City of Fort St. John, the Peace River Regional District, Energy Services BC and the Fort St. John Petroleum Association.

The committee will explore and assess options for locating a helipad at or near the hospital, and also consider the option of continuing with current practice. The committee will take the following steps:

• Seek the advice of experts as requested by the committee members;
• Identify and assess the merits, feasibility and cost implications of various options for a helipad location at or near the hospital;
• Assess the merits, feasibility and cost implications of continuing with the current practice of landing at the airport; and;
• Provide a recommendation to Northern Health on the preferred option.

It is expected that the committee will present its report to Northern Health in the spring.

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