Melfort STARS Heliport Project
Redhead Equipment is pleased to announce that we were named the Mission Lead Pilot Donor of the Melfort Heliport Fundraising Campaign with a contribution of $100,000. “Since acquiring the dealership in Melfort we have strived to support our customer’s needs and to give back to Melfort & its surrounding communities. The health and safety of our customers, staff & community is of great importance to Redhead Equipment, and we hope this $100,000 donation reflects our commitment to the people of north eastern Saskatchewan,” says Gary Redhead.
The Melfort Hospital serves approximately 12,200 people and previously did not have a heliport. All patient transfers occurred by ground EMS directly or through the Melfort Airport via fixed wing air ambulance or STARS service. The City of Melfort proposed developing a heliport beside the Melfort Hospital. The landing area would be a certified area used by STARS for the transport of patients from the emergency department at the hospital.
The heliport is an important service for the growing community of Melfort and area. The greatest risk for patients being transported is during handover. With STARS service, the care team can come right to the patient, get a report from the team providing care and transfer directly to tertiary care in Saskatoon.
A heliport will save STARS critical time, in some cases up to 50 minutes from Melfort to Saskatoon’s hospitals.
Heliport Fundraising Committee member Rod Gantefoer shared, “When I reached out to Gary Redhead about supporting the Heliport Project in Melfort there was no hesitation. Redhead Equipment is a proud, active member of all the communities they serve throughout Saskatchewan and are committed to supporting charities and community organizations across the province, through sponsorship, donations & participation.”
Thanks to the support of businesses and families in the Melfort area, the campaign has raised more than $750,000. Peggy George, Chairman of the North Central Health Care Foundation stated, “Raising funds during a pandemic had its own special challenge, but with the support of all our donors, we have been able to exceed our fundraising goal by over $100,000. Excess funds from this campaign will further the work of the Foundation. The Foundation plays an important role in supporting our local health care professionals by providing funding for equipment in the facilities throughout the district.”
As of December 1, 2020, the helipad was completed and certified by Transport Canada, now making it operational. Redhead Equipment is happy to know that every time STARS lands in Melfort, we have helped make that happen.