Much needed, and Saskatchewan's first, the permanent helipad was constructed on the roof of the Regina General Hospital (RGH). The helipad is located between the RGH's main entrance and emergency department, on the sixth-floor roof of the newest portion of the building. In addition to the helicopter landing pad and ramp, a new observation level was constructed of glazed curtain wall, providing maximum visibility. Two existing elevators adjacent to the new vestibule and located in the core of the building were upgraded to accommodate new Emergency Medical Services traffic and provide access to all critical care areas.
In the past, the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) helicopter landed at the Regina International Airport and patients were transported by ground ambulance to the General, taking up to 20 minutes of travel time. The helipad greatly improves response time, which is important to successful outcomes for patients.
Ambulance helicopters flown by STARS began using the new facility at the end of December. It is estimated that between 300 and 400 patients are moved by STARS annually in the province.