SFMH announces temporary relocation of helipad

First tangible step towards Emergency Dept. redevelopment

While years of work have already taken place to bring the Emergency Department (ED) Redevelopment Project to light, most of that work has taken place behind the scenes.

SFMH is incredibly fortunate to have a helipad located on the hospital property, right next to the ED. This means patients can be moved directly from the hospital into the helicopter, as opposed to first taking a land ambulance from the hospital to the helipad (which is the case in many hospitals). This saves crucial time in emergency situations and frees up land ambulances to respond to other urgent needs. 

When the ED redevelopment and construction takes place, the helipad at SFMH will need to be temporarily relocated during the construction phase and plans for this are underway. 

SFMH has been working to ensure we meet the new clearance standards for helicopters from ORNGE and NAV Canada. These clearance standards, which must be met for the helipad to return to our campus, require the removal of several large trees along the western slope of the campus. 

The removal of these trees means that the slope needs to be shored up. Last year, in July of 2023, rainfall resulted in a washout of this same slope and required an emergency stabilization of the slope. Following that event, SFMH engaged civil engineers and ecologists in our planning. To mitigate the effects of removing trees, SFMH has been working with these consultants to ensure proper slope stabilization and rehabilitation plans are in place. The end result of this project will ensure the stability of the slope behind the hospital and clinic building, and prepare the site following ED construction, for the return of the helipad.

While this is the first tangible step of many in our ED redevelopment project, the importance of returning and maintaining the helipad at SFMH is vital. SFMH will continue to work with our consulting partners to ensure a well-planned, seamless transition during this part of the project, and the many steps that will follow.

McLeod,G.,SFMH(2024,Feb.27) St. Francis Memorial Hospital Is Preparing for The Emergency Department Redevelopment Project [press briefing]

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