Council approves funding grant for essential medevac services

RMWB Council has approved allocating $1.5 million towards 24/7 medevac to ensure the service continues for another year.


As per Council’s decision at its June 23 meeting, the Municipality will enter a grant funding agreement with the Helicopter Emergency Response Organization Foundation (H.E.R.O.) to support its operations as a 24/7 medevac service.


Phoenix Heli-Flight operates H.E.R.O. through funding from the Municipality and industry partners. Alberta Health Services currently operates under a fee for service agreement. This is the second year the Municipality has funded part of Phoenix’s operations. Response times are significantly reduced with the H.E.R.O. model in comparison to ground ambulance services alone. The loss of medevac service would impact patient care and survival rates with the Municipality.


“With such a large region and many remote areas, it is essential that the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo have round-the-clock medevac service,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “On behalf of Council, I want to thank Phoenix for working tirelessly to ensure that this vital service is available for the residents of Wood Buffalo, should they ever require it.”


Through the grant funding agreement, two semi-annual disbursements of $750,000 will be made to H.E.R.O. The grant agreement will be reviewed at the end of the one-year term.