He says Northern Health and the B.C. Ambulance Service will be working together to assess several factors. Those include the operational and safety record of the helipad at the old hospital, and possible locations for a helipad. They will be looking at locations at the Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa, as well as within the rest of Fort St. John. Transport Canada rules for helipad development within developed areas of Fort St. John will also be consulted.
Sinclair says there will also be an aspect of stakeholder consultation in their assessment.
“It is our intention to consult with specific stakeholders in Fort St. John area [sic] to ensure that the work captures the input of our local government partners and health service providers,” he writes.
The letter does not mention any public consultation.
Although a helicopter landing pad was included in the original design of the hospital, Northern Health had determined that it was not needed and could be unsafe. Several residents and City Councillors expressed their concern about the amount of time it will take to transport patients from the North Peace Airport where the helicopter will land.
Project Manager Tom Sparrow said in April that talk over a helipad would continue in the fall, so Northern Health could focus on the opening of the new hospital.
Sinclair says a proposed work schedule will be sent to the PRRD by December 14.