After an eight-year absence, air ambulance helicopters are once again landing beside Tofino General Hospital.
A new helipad opened in June.
The area had been without one since 2011 when the previous helipad was shut down after Transport Canada ordered upgrades.
Since then, air evacuations were conducted from the Tofino airport.
The site was chosen in 2016 and the $845,000 project was approved in August of 2018.
“No one wants to think about needing an emergency trip to a hospital in Victoria or Vancouver, but it’s absolutely essential that we can provide it when necessary,” said Josie Osborne, Tofino Mayor and chair of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District.
“This helipad is a critical piece of infrastructure for the West Coast region, and we are grateful to see it completed.”
Island Health says BC Emergency Health Services air ambulance helicopters have airlifted 26 patients from Tofino General Hospital to other acute care sites so far in 2019.