New hospital’s helipad deficient, council learns

City council is refusing to accept that the new hospital’s helipad may not be able to accept single engine helicopters.

Coun. Larry Samson said he wants the city to investigate what can be done to ensure the helipad is in compliance.

He said with Campbell River being a regional forestry centre, it’s vital that all aircraft that serve that industry be able to land at the hospital in the event of a medical emergency.

“Single engine helicopters play a large part in our coastal areas, we’re also the regional centre for all the outlying islands which makes it even more important at our hospital that we have the ability to accept single engine helicopters,” Samson said. “It was said that helicopters can land where they want to land but if they’re not approved, what onus are we putting on these pilots flying these aircrafts, these helicopters?”

Val Wilson, spokesperson for Island Health, said Transport Canada safety standards do not allow single-engine helicopters to land at rooftop hospital heliports – which is where the heliport will be located at the new Campbell River Hospital.

“Hospital heliports are classified as ‘obstacle’ landing sites because of their proximity to trees, buildings, residential areas and other potential helicopter flightpath obstacles,” Wilson said. “This means that they require more than one engine to handle flight emergency situations, such as an engine failure.”

Wilson said BC Air Ambulance helicopters meet that classification and both the Campbell River and Comox Valley hospitals are “expected to receive certification from Transport Canada once the new hospitals are complete.”

Still, Coun. Charlie Cornfield said council needs to step up and ensure that happens.

“I think we need some expertise to come back and say ‘here is what we can do’.  It’s the old, ‘we won’t give them approval until the project is built,’” Cornfield said.

Samson said the city’s airport manager is already planning a trip to Ottawa in February and suggested he could speak to the federal transportation minister.

With the exception of Mayor Andy Adams, the rest of council agreed, and voted in favour of having the Airport Authority investigate and report back to council, as well as spending up to $5,000 from council contingency to determine Transport Canada’s requirements for single engine helicopters.

Adams was opposed because he said he would rather see money allocated once council knows how much is actually required to get the job done.

“I really appreciate the intent of the motion (but) we have never done a motion, unless it’s for consulting fees, to allocate funds for a staff report which is essentially what this is,” Adams said. “I have no problem in some of the things Councillor Samson said in that if the Airport Authority identifies some expenses, then come back through a staff report to council but to just put an amount out there that we don’t know or know what for, I think is irresponsible.”

The new hospital, and helipad, is currently under construction next to the existing hospital and is expected to be completed by late 2017.

The 95-bed Campbell River Hospital is costing Island Health $274.5 million and is being built in tandem with a new 153-bed hospital in the Comox Valley, valued at $331.7 million.

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Campbell Riverite advancing to quarter-finals of Maxim Cover Girl Contest

‘Now it’s do or die time,’ said local model and DJ Kristy Watkins

Defenceman re-signs with Campbell River Storm

Grady Franklin of Deloraine, Man. ready to return to Campbell River

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

B.C. village’s local government sees four mayoral changes within three months

Resignations and appointments happened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic

Indigenous B.C. tour operator keeps culture alive through virtual journeys in COVID-19 era

Campbell River based Homalco Tours is also in the process of setting up live cameras for bear viewing in Orford

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read