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Canadian helipad fails safety inspection

Filed under: Air Ambulances Abroad — Posted by: Andrew on December 26, 2011

The Whistler Health Care helipad in Canada has failed an inspection. The failure means the facility will remain shut for a fifth consecutive month.

The helipad is usually used by the air ambulances to respond to missions on the nearby ski slopes. Due to the closure, services have had to be redirected to the municipal helipad further north, though call outs have been 40% fewer than in previous years.

The Whistler helipad was originally closed back in August 2011 as a result of new safety standards being introduced. Expected to open in November, inspections were halted as a result of the early arrival of poor weather.

The latest delay has primarily been caused by faulty snow-melting equipment; something the inspection authority was alerted to ahead of their visit. All parties agreed to go ahead with the inspection despite this prior knowledge though, in order to isolate any other areas that needed to be addressed.

It shows that safety is always the number one priority by all those involved with medical air services; something which underpins every private and public service throughout the world.

Two other issues were also highlighted by the inspection though.

The first of these concerned snow being piled too high and too close to the helipad, whilst the second was in regards to the traffic control system.

Both issues are said to be easy to address however, and the team responsible for the site are expecting it will be all systems go in time for the next inspection, due to take place in mid-January.

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