Big chopper on ambulance duty

  • Oct. 13, 2008 8:00 p.m.

Islanders using the air ambulance over the next month will have a deluxe ride in a huge Sikorsky S-61 helicopter while the Bell 222 is being serviced. VIH Helicopters spokesperson Captain Alex Laird says the S-61, when used for passenger service, can hold 20 people. Outfitted as an ambulance, the chopper will seat five and take two stretchers. The Bell 222 could carry one stretcher and three medical staffers. “It’s a bit of overkill, but that’s what we could come up with to do the job,” says Cpt. Laird. Although two stretchers aren’t typically sent at once, the bigger helicopter may help accommodate family members. The Bell 222 is getting a refit that will allow it to continue serving the northwest as an air ambulance for another two years says Cpt. Laird. Cpt. Laird says the air ambulance helicopter serves communities as far afield as Prince Rupert, Smithers, Hartley Bay and Haida Gwaii, sometimes putting in 450 to 500 hours a year. The service uses airplanes as well, stationed in Prince George, Kelowna and Vancouver among others. The helicopter comes in especially handy getting patients to the Rupert airport on Digby Island. “To call out the ferry in the middle of the night can cost $30,000,” he says.

Just Posted

Steve Nash Youth Basketball wraps up in Massett

RCMP coordinated the 12-week program for children between the ages of eight and 10

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

Backyard burning still prohibited on Haida Gwaii, fire chief warns

Village of Queen Charlotte fire chief Larry Duke is reminding the public… Continue reading

COLUMN: The removal of the Pigeon Guillemot ‘colony’

Birds lost their place after the removal of the old wharf at Shingle Bay in Sandspit

A week of Haida Gwaii in photos

A snapshot of Haida Gwaii community briefs: From Skidegate Co-op construction to welcoming wildlife

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Most Read