Hospital launches helipad

FLYING: Helipad and crowd
FLYING: Helipad and crowd

The pressure on the ambulance officers will now be eased as the Port Broughton hospital officially opens their brand new helipad.

Emergency services would have to use the football oval as an alternative landing before the construction of the helipad.

This would become problematic especially when there was a football game being played.

The helicopters would leave dents in the oval surface making the grounds dangerous for footy players.

The hospital previously needed an available ambulance to transport the patient and team from and to the helicopter when it landed on the oval.

"With low numbers of local ambulance volunteers this has often meant pulling in resources from Port Pirie or the Copper Coast at significant cost to the system," Dr Edwards said.

Former Executive Officer and Director of Nursing, Liz Traeger, came up with the idea to construct a helipad at the hospital back in 2017. Applications for funding didn't begin until 2019.

The hospital was lucky to receive generous donations from service organisations and community members as well as funding from the Barunga West Council.

"We were blown away with the generosity of the Lions Club of Richmond very early in our fundraising which gave us quite a boost which was then bolstered through the Lions Club of Bute helping coordinate additional funds through the Australian Lions Foundation.

"One local resident dug very deep in her pockets and we are thrilled to have Mrs Joyce Humphrys join in today's celebration and opening ceremony", Dr Edwards said.

Construction began in May 2020 and by October 1, the hospital landed their very first helicopter.

The helipad has been used four times since coming into commission.

It is the 50th anniversary of the town having a locally ambulance which was jointly funded by the local Rural Youth group and St Johns.

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