Construction will start this year for a new helicopter landing pad that will be built across from the Lloydminster Hospital.
Husky Energy is contributing to the project by donating approximately $50,000 in direct financial support, as well as land and lease construction. Vice President of Heavy Oil Operations Paul Zorgdrager says that there are 1,000 Husky employees that live in the Lloydminster area and they want to contribute to the community.
“Today the transfer of patients from this hospital is through either road or through using fix wing airplanes and so we thought the response time is something we really needed to do.”
The Lloydminster Hospital serves around 72,000 people and currently does not have a heliport. Patients are transferred by EMS to the Lloydminster airport then transported by STARS to an urban hospital. President and CEO of STARS Andrea Robertson says that Lloydminster is a big region that serves both Alberta and Saskatchewan, so they’ve wanted a helipad here for sometime.
“It’s hands, it’s time, it’s experience and it’s transport to the next hospital as well. So if we could go helipad to helipad we are talking a huge change in time and meaning to that patient.”
The Lloydminster Regional Health Foundation (LRHF) is leading a fundraising campaign to pay for the remaining costs of about $200,000 for the total project cost of $350,000. LRHF CEO Malcolm Radke says the benefits of the helipad are reducing transfer times that could mean life or death for a patient, as well as keeping ground ambulances in the community.
Construction on the helipad is expected to be complete by Spring 2019.