In a life-threatening emergency, every minute can be crucial to the successful outcome for a patient. Saskatchewan’s first rooftop heliport at the Regina General Hospital provides the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region with the ability to utilize air ambulance service to improve response times by up to 20 minutes. The 18-meter helipad uses existing elevators and an added vestibule equipped with high-speed automatic openers; the elevators can take patients from the roof to all critical-care areas of the hospital. The helipad received Transport Canada certification after meeting a comprehensive list of standards. For the estimated 300 patients who will require STARS services in Regina this year, the helipad is a critical addition to a valued service.
The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS)
flies more than 300 missions a year from its Regina
base—it is expected that a significant number of
those missions will touch down at Regina General
The heliport gets patients to the care they need
faster, eliminating the need for an ambulance ride
from the STARS base at Regina International Airport.
IDENTIFYING AN ALTERNATE SWING STAGE CONFIGURATION
Cable-suspended scaffolds, known as swing stages, are a necessity in high-elevation construction. Swing stages give workers access to areas of a jobsite that regular scaffolding cannot reach, such as the curtain wall on the vestibule at Regina General Hospital. Because the vestibule was located in a corner of the building and surrounded by other structures, it was not possible to meet the tieback technical specifications for a typical swing stage. Project teams throughout PCL have access to a dedicated, in-house team of construction engineering professionals who will work through such complex challenges. The engineering team identified an alternative configuration for the swing stage that would allow it to be used in this location, while still meeting all safety and regulatory requirements.
MANAGING EQUIPMENT PLACEMENT BESIDE AN ACTIVE HOSPITAL
“With major construction, like adding a rooftop heliport to an existing hospital, the potential to impact the day-to-day functions of the hospital is a huge concern, especially when the construction is immediately above the main entrance,” said Barry Rorbeck, executive director of facilities management, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. “PCL kept the project team well apprised of upcoming closures and completed their planned work within the timelines they provided.”
Every construction project has unique equipment requirements, and the PCL project team often determines delivery dates and duration of equipment use even before construction gets under way, so material will be on-site when it’s needed. Two such pieces of equipment were required because of the helipad’s location: a crane that had a boom length of 260 feet and was capable of hoisting the materials onto the rooftop of the six-story structure, and a concrete pump with enough length to reach the middle of the building. Both the crane and pump needed to be placed in a small laydown area at the front entrance of the hospital, which meant that pedestrian and vehicle traffic needed to be taken into consideration for the duration of their time onsite. In addition, no areas of the hospital were closed during construction, even during the removal of the roof, meaning there was minimal impact to patients as all the rooms could remain in use. The PCL project team established barricades and alternative paths of travel along with extra way-finding signage to help guide patients through the temporary obstruction of the main entrance and parking facility. This allowed the hospital to function at full capacity and ensure that quality of care for patients was always a top priority.