Transport Canada has officially certified Bluewater Health’s helipad for day-use, the hospital announced this week, noting that the helipad is now operational, effective immediately.
Night use of the helipad will be granted as full certification is completed.
“In a time where hospitals across the province are experiencing historical pressures, this new community resource will prove invaluable,” a news release stated. “When a patient is critically ill, every single minute saved in transportation, drastically increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. For some this can be a matter of life or death.
Construction of the $912,000 helipad began in the spring at the former St. Patrick’s High School athletic track. Fundraising was spearheaded by the Bluewater Health Foundation, while $400,000 was provided by the County of Lambton.
The property — which Bluewater Health purchased from the St. Clair Catholic District School Board in 2016 — had been a designated construction zone and closed to the public since last November.
The hospital, which serves 126,000 residents, was the only one in the region without an on-site air ambulance.