Queen Victoria Hospital helipad construction gets underway

The Queen Victoria Hospital helipad construction project is underway. The plan is to have the helipad substantially completed and in use by the winter of 2017.

Tony Morabito worked with Speers Construction during the excavation phase ongoing now. Photo: contributed

Interior Health has named Vic Van Isle Construction Ltd. as the general contractor for the Queen Victoria Hospital helipad project.

Vic Van Isle Construction was chosen through an Invitation to Tender, which closed Sept. 27. The Revelstoke-based company will work alongside Interior Health and GroundEffect Aerodrome Consulting Ltd., the design consultant, for the duration of the Queen Victoria Hospital helipad project.

The excavation phase gets underway. Photo: contributed

Site preparation has begun, with the construction phase, once underway, lasting approximately two months. It is anticipated the entire project will be complete by winter 2017, pending final approval from Transport Canada, with minor seasonal items to be completed in spring 2018.

The helipad will enhance access to trauma services for the Revelstoke region, allowing helicopters to land at Queen Victoria Hospital. This will allow for the lifesaving medical transport of QVH’s most critical patients to a higher level of care, as quickly as possible. Some of the features will include: certification for daytime use, construction of an appropriate ground surface, markings, signage and related safety equipment, as required by Transport Canada; a partially covered walkway to the emergency department; perimeter fencing to secure the helipad area; and tree topping and removal as needed to suit the required flightpath.

File photo: Residents gathered at Queen Victoria Hospital on Nov. 14 to kick off the hospital helipad fundraising campaign. From left: QVH site manager Julie Lowes, Petra van Dijk of Downie Timber, Scott Newsome of Eagle Pass Heliskiing, Angus Woodman of Downie Timber, Mike Copperthwaite of the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation, Liliane Lambert from Canadian Mountain Holidays, Roberta Bobicki of Revelstoke Credit Union, Cheryl Fry of the Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Society, Revelstoke Credit Union director John Teed, Barbara Ross of Mica Heliskiing, and Steven Hui of the Revelstoke Community Health Foundation. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Interior Health said that access to the hiking trails to the rear of the hospital property will be prohibited due to the helipad construction, to ensure the public’s safety. Interior Health said it would make the public aware should there be impacts to parking and hospital access as the project progresses.

The Queen Victoria Hospital helipad project is anticipated to cost approximately $547,000 (including both planning and construction), and was made possible through the fundraising support of the Revelstoke District Health Foundation, the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital District, and the City of Revelstoke Tourism Infrastructure Committee. Upon completion, Interior Health will be responsible for daily operation and maintenance of the helipad.

Speers Construction is just one of the many local companies that have come forward with generous donations in kind of services, equipment, materials and manpower for this project.

The following other companies have also donated or made commitments:

  • Azimuth Forestry and Mapping Solutions – preliminary surveying of the site
  • Kozek Sawmills – cutting and removal of trees in the flight path
  • H&J Ready Mix – supplying of aggregate material
  • Emcon – trucking of materials away and movement of aggregate materials to the site
  • Score Construction/RER – permanent metal fencing around the landing area
  • TJ Roofing – roofing for the new covered walkway to the hospital emergency entrance
From left at the 2017 fundraising kickoff: Mengia Nicholson, Kerry Dawson, Bill Shuttleworth, Richard Brittin, Steven Hui, Julie Lowes, Cheryl Fry and Nancy Martin. Photo: contributed

In a statement, Interior Health said it is committed to ensuring the community is updated as the project progresses. “We are grateful to the community for its passion and support of this project, and would like to thank patients, members of the public, staff and physicians in advance for their patience as we work toward enhancing emergency and trauma care at Queen Victoria Hospital,” wrote Interior Health in a statement.