By Jamie Rieger
The HALO rescue helicopter is often called to Code Red situations in remote areas of southeast Alberta when ground ambulance may not be able to reach the patients in a timely fashion or where the landscape does not allow for an adequate landing surface for other medical aircraft.
The Bow Island/Foremost Victim Assistance Association recently donated $5,000 from their casino funds to HALO, which receives no government funding and has to rely on donations to keep operating.
For the Victim Assistance Association, the decision to contribute to HALO was an easy one to make.
“We decided to do this because HALO is such a worthwhile cause and we deal with families who live in the area who have needed the HALO helicopter,” said Laurie Haynes.
HALO typically receives sizable donations from oil and gas companies to help cover some of the costs, but as the industry goes through a considerable slowdown, those donations have been fewer and less substantial.
Dale Thacker, chair of HALO board of directors said this, and all donations are greatly appreciated.
“This was unexpected and is certainly appreciated especially now because of the funding shortfall due to the price of oil,” said Thacker. “The frequency of calls for HALO is increasing. There has been 15 dispatches this month alone and it used to be that there would be 30 calls in a year.”