By Mabell, Dave on December 21, 2019.
Farmers and ranchers have shown their support for southern Alberta’s local air ambulance service.
On Thursday, a representative of UFA members from Pincher Creek to Medicine Hat turned over a cheque for $3,000 to representatives of Halo Air Ambulance. Mark Sayers, UFA delegate for Lethbridge, said supporting local non-profit services is important to UFA members.
The helicopter medivac service, based in Medicine Hat, provides emergency medical transportation to southern Albertans and visitors from the Saskatchewan border all the way to Waterton Lakes National Park. Officials say its twin-rotor aircraft can land almost anywhere required, and it’s ready to speed patients to designated facilities – including elevated landing pads in Lethbridge and Calgary.
Paul Carolan, chief executive officer for Halo, said the provincial government is currently studying Alberta’s air medivac services. They include another locally funded service flying out of Fort McMurray as well as the larger Stars operation with bases in Calgary and further north.
Recommendations from that study are expected in late 2020, he added.
While Halo is paid for emergency calls from Alberta Health Services, he said, must of its support comes from local organizations.
“There will always be a need for community support,” Carolan predicted.
With a service speed of 250 km/h, he said Halo’s primary aircraft can carry patients from many southern Alberta points more directly to specialists in Calgary.