Air Ambulance Meeting

L to R: Tammy Schiere (aviation QA for BCAS); Geoff Burkholder (pilot for Helijet); Sonya Tietjen (Safety Manager Helijet); and Dan Baker (Chief Pilot Helijet)

Chief Doug Chinnery and Deputy Chief Quana Parker met at the Lefevre airstrip with representatives of Helijet and BC Ambulance to discuss safety and efficiency improvements for night time air evacuations. There were three main concerns:

  • lack of appropriate landing zone lights
  • unavailable communication channels between the agencies
  • inability of HIFR to get trucks close enough to the landing zone in the wet months

We believe that we have hammered out solutions to all of the problems:

  • We have procured a loan of portable landing zone lights until we can purchase our own.
  • We are reprogramming our portable radios to access the appropriate frequencies.
  • We will be brushing out an old access road and bringing in some gravel to get us closer to where the pilots want to land.

Once we have all the concerns addressed we will do a practice to ensure that all of the systems can be deployed efficiently. Helijet will then schedule a practice run where we will run through a multi agency practice run testing out all aspects of the new procedures.

Huge thanks to the four great folks that came up to ensure that night time air evacs are as safe as they can be. Also, thanks to Ken Craig of BC Ambulance for the loan of the landing zone lights. And special thanks, as always, to Chris Lefevre for his extremely generous gift to our community… the use of his air strip for medical emergencies.


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