February 08, 2019

Swift Current Helipad Saves Precious Time for Critically Ill and Injured

Residents in south-west Saskatchewan now have more rapid access to life-saving critical care with a new helipad certified for use, allowing the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) to land at Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current.

“This helipad greatly enhances emergency services for people in rural and remote areas of south-west Saskatchewan,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said.  “Landing directly at the Cypress Regional Hospital saves valuable time for critically ill patients by eliminating the need for transporting them by road ambulance to the Swift Current airport, 10 kilometers away.” 

“Cypress Regional Hospital’s helipad is an example of what can be accomplished working together with patients, families and health care partners,” Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) CEO Scott Livingstone said.  “The new addition to the Cypress Regional Hospital not only enhances the care received by our patients but also helps physicians and staff in providing timely care to our most critical of patients.”

“It takes a community to save a life, and as the primary end user of this new helipad, we are grateful to all involved in its creation,” STARS Vice President of Operations Mike Lamacchia said.  “Helipads are an important part of helicopter EMS systems, and our crews are pleased at the efficiencies gained by their ability to now land directly at the Cypress Regional Hospital.

The Saskatchewan government provided $342,000 in funding for the new helipad.  Other certified helipads are located at Regina General, Saskatoon’s Royal University (temporary site), Moose Jaw’s Dr. F. W. Wigmore, Estevan’s St. Joseph’s and Lloydminster Hospitals.  A rooftop helipad is also being built at Royal University Hospital site as part of the construction of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

The Ministry of Health, SHA, STARS and communities will continue to work collaboratively to assess future helipad construction based on patient service needs.

With the helicopter air medical program, Saskatchewan continues to enhance access to emergency medical services.  This service, along with the province’s fixed-wing air ambulance program and other emergency medical services, is an essential component of the total patient care system.