What's the rush? Liberals ask

Dave Bartlett
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

St. Anthony air ambulance moving to Goose Bay May 30

Health Minister Jerome Kennedy has confirmed the province's air ambulance currently based in St. Anthony will move to Happy Valley-Goose Bay May 30.

The topic came up again in the House of Assembly Monday, with Liberal MHA Marshall Dean asking if the medical flight services team, promised in this year's budget, would be in place by the time the move is made.

Health Minister Jerome Kennedy (left) speaks with reporters Monday after announcing in the House of Assembly that the transfer of the air ambulance and associated staff from St. Anthony to Happy Valley-Goose Bay has been slated for the end of this month.

Health Minister Jerome Kennedy has confirmed the province's air ambulance currently based in St. Anthony will move to Happy Valley-Goose Bay May 30.

The topic came up again in the House of Assembly Monday, with Liberal MHA Marshall Dean asking if the medical flight services team, promised in this year's budget, would be in place by the time the move is made.

But Kennedy said the new medical flight team has yet to be hired, as it was only announced about six weeks ago.

"There is a period of time that we (need) to advertise for these jobs. They are speciality jobs and there has to be a training period," Kennedy said. "We are in that process of doing the hiring right now and it will be a while before people are in place. But I can assure the member opposite that we are looking at other alternatives to ensure that air ambulance is provided to all areas of this province."

Kennedy said he hopes to have more to say about those alternatives in the next few days.

"Obviously, the minister is rushing this decision," Dean said. "His actions will create more problems in the system."

Dean said without that team in place, all medevacs from Goose Bay will have to travel to St. John's first to pick up the crew, which is an hour further away from the capital than St. Anthony is.

"Why would we rush the ... relocation of the plane before the medevac team is in place?" he asked.

But Kennedy then informed the House that "a number of unfortunate incidents" means the plane will be moved as soon as possible.

"(There was) at least one incident where a pilot has refused to fly, so we have a situation where we have to stabilize this situation," the minister said.

He also said the announcement the plane was to move was made on March 22, which he suggested is sufficient notice.

Outside the House, Kennedy told reporters the plane will have to come to St. John's for a medical flight crew whether the air ambulance is in St. Anthony or Happy Valley-Goose Bay, until the second crew is in place.

"(But) a lot of the transfers are routine transfers," he said. "Not every transfer requires a medical flight services team."

When asked to elaborate about the pilot who refused to fly, Kennedy said it happened over the weekend when the aircraft should have been used.

But he wouldn't elaborate on whether or not the pilot being "unable to fly" was in protest of the relocation.

All he would say was the Labrador Grenfell Health Authority has spoken to the pilot and is investigating.

"It's understandable that the pilots and the mechanics are very dissatisfied with the move," the minister said.

Dean said he wasn't aware a pilot had refused to fly, but suggested it could have been because of stress related to the impending move.

Poor choice

In the House, Dean also suggested the consultant hired by government to write its report on the air ambulance service - Wes Drodge - was a poor choice because he was the CEO of a northern Ontario health authority last year when a woman's death was partially blamed on problems with its air ambulance service.

When asked outside the House if Drodge was found to be at fault for that matter, Dean backed down.

"No, not at all," he said. "I certainly didn't want to imply that by any means."

Kennedy told reporters Drodge had the needed credentials and experience to do the report, and had a warning for Dean.

"The comments made are very serious," Kennedy said. "I would go as far as to say they are potentially libelous (if said outside the House)."

Kennedy did say he would look into the allegations made by Dean.

dbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Labrador Grenfell Health Authority

Geographic location: St. Anthony, Goose Bay, Happy Valley St. John's Northern Ontario

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Only after a few serious emmergencies will we see the unjust decisions of the William's government. the seem to think that the lives of people are a dime a dozen.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    If someone gets sick on the west coast, they can always ship them to St. John's in a new waterbomber.

  • member of the 20%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Consider this: if, just if, Little Man Dan is sending a message to the good people of the Northern Peninsula, that they erred in judgement by sending a Liberal to the House of Assembly and thus infuriating Dan and Jeromey, then now they have to accept what change means; then, why does Dan think that PM Stevie wouldn't treat NL with the same disdain in reaction to ABC? What's good for the goose is good for the gander; or, in this case, what one dictator does, is ok by the other.

  • vrp
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Ten years ago when Trevor Taylor's upset victory in Straits district began Danny's conquest of NL, he promised never to forget the Northern Peninsula. Obviously, he's stuck to his word, feeding it bit by bit to Labrador, which always feels disenfranchised. First the Health Board headquarters were moved to Goose Bay, followed by the air ambulance. The shameless rape of St. Anthony and the Northern Peninsula will not be enough to appease an alienated Labrador. They will up the ante, and, Danny Boy, always eager to champion something somewhere, will be forced to strip something from some other town in Newfoundland. The Department of Finance might look really good in Rigolet.

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Why does the media even approach Jerome Kennedy any more? All he does is avoid answering most of the questions asked, or whine and moan and groan, or scream, or throw blame at someone else, or outright lies. We, the taxpayers, are paying their high salaries and expenses and, in turn, are treated like dirt.
    He never gives a straight answer; an unfortunate number of incidents , the pilot was unable to fly , etc., etc. Jerome Kennedy uses the word assure so much, it's sickening.
    I can't bear to even look at him on T.V.
    any longer.
    He assures us absolutely nothing.
    And how much now are we, the taxpayers, dishing out for Drodge to do, once again, one of the Government's unnecessary report?

  • Frank M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    This issue is over. Move on.

    There are much larger issues by which the government can be criticized.

    Health care system, paper mill closures and botched expropriations and a mega project at lower Churchill which probably not happen.

  • Resident
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Great news, this could save a life here in Labraor West, mining town, population 12,000 and growing, a lot of workers from the island come here for work too.

    Obviously our own separate Air Ambulance would be better, and St Antony keep thiers, but when lives are on the line speed is of the essence.

  • Jack
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    If Marshall Dean has any guts whatsoever to stop the Air Ambulance service from relocating to a poor location like Happy Valley - Goose Bay, why doesn't he take the Government to court and get a judge to stop this relocation until a proper consultant is hired?

    As for Trevor Taylor and other Fascists, particularly Danny Williams and Jerome Kennedy, people have a right to vote anyway they want and shouldn't be punished for it.

    Its Danny Williams' fault the Northern Peninsula elected a Liberal when they tried to cut lab services in Flower's Cove, and its their fault this mess occurred in the first place.

    I can't wait for Danny Williams and his fascist government reduced to minority government in the next election so they will learn the consequences of acting like school yard bullies.

    Danny Williams and Jerome Kennedy, Canada is not a dictatorship, its a democracy, remember that.

  • Manuel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    I am all for the move as it isnt a very stragetic placement for this air ambulance.
    With that being said i have to ask why it is being done as the base in Goose Bay has some of the most advanced military medic teams going. They are equipt to do the job much better then this air ambulance.
    Also with that being said why is St.Anthony residents getting so mad? It isnt like that air ambulance is bringing millions of dollars of revenue to their community. This is just a few residents who seem to think that they are more important then the people who need this service. As in labrador which currently doesnt have the service and is in need of it so much more. Would any St.Anthony resident who reads this explain to me why you would refuse these outport communities their ambulance? It isnt like their is no hospital in St.Anthony, as i have had several surgeries there to repair my knee. They are quite advanced for a small community.
    Is it because these outport communities dont deserve it? As im sure we could classify your community as an outport as it is and take everything away because it is better served by people that arent so selfish and in a more modern city.

  • St. John's Resident
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    There should be two Air Ambulances, one in St. Anthony and one in Labrador City. Taking the Air Ambulance out of St. Anthony will result in more fatalities along the Labrador coast. Those people have small clinics that rely on the Air Ambulances to transport them to St. Anthony to save their lives. It's not about generating revenue for St. Anthony, it only takes about thirty mins. for an Ambulance to reach St. Anthony from the Labrador Coast. This location is beneficial to Costal Labrador residents and the Northern Peninsula residents. With that being said, the people in Labrador City also need an Air Ambulance. Why is everyone so quick to speak up and say that they need it more? The purpose of the Ambulance is to save lives of people that can not reach the bigger Hospitals by regular Ambulance. Is one life worth any more or less than another's? It's time for the residents of Labrador and the Northern Peninsula to unite and lobby for two Air Ambulances. If we do not get them than it's time to vote the Danny Williams Government OUT!!! This is just a punishment for the Northern Peninsula for voting Liberal anyway!!

  • Ed.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Mr. Dean and the people of St. Anthony should look at the map of NL. & Labrador, then they will see why the air ambulance should have been stationed in Goose Bay all along. I agree completely that if another plane becomes available it should be stationed in Deer Lake, This would give protection to the south and west coasts.
    This decision is almost too sensible to be made by politicians. Have a nice day.

  • Labradorian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Sounds like some islanders here either don't care, or Want to Acknowledge the reason it is being moved, yes a new one added to Labrador would make us very happy too, but until that happens when need to SOS's here in Labrador. It isn't polictial to us, we are just grateful to have a chance to save a life of a NL'r

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Only after a few serious emmergencies will we see the unjust decisions of the William's government. the seem to think that the lives of people are a dime a dozen.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    If someone gets sick on the west coast, they can always ship them to St. John's in a new waterbomber.

  • member of the 20%
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Consider this: if, just if, Little Man Dan is sending a message to the good people of the Northern Peninsula, that they erred in judgement by sending a Liberal to the House of Assembly and thus infuriating Dan and Jeromey, then now they have to accept what change means; then, why does Dan think that PM Stevie wouldn't treat NL with the same disdain in reaction to ABC? What's good for the goose is good for the gander; or, in this case, what one dictator does, is ok by the other.

  • vrp
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Ten years ago when Trevor Taylor's upset victory in Straits district began Danny's conquest of NL, he promised never to forget the Northern Peninsula. Obviously, he's stuck to his word, feeding it bit by bit to Labrador, which always feels disenfranchised. First the Health Board headquarters were moved to Goose Bay, followed by the air ambulance. The shameless rape of St. Anthony and the Northern Peninsula will not be enough to appease an alienated Labrador. They will up the ante, and, Danny Boy, always eager to champion something somewhere, will be forced to strip something from some other town in Newfoundland. The Department of Finance might look really good in Rigolet.

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Why does the media even approach Jerome Kennedy any more? All he does is avoid answering most of the questions asked, or whine and moan and groan, or scream, or throw blame at someone else, or outright lies. We, the taxpayers, are paying their high salaries and expenses and, in turn, are treated like dirt.
    He never gives a straight answer; an unfortunate number of incidents , the pilot was unable to fly , etc., etc. Jerome Kennedy uses the word assure so much, it's sickening.
    I can't bear to even look at him on T.V.
    any longer.
    He assures us absolutely nothing.
    And how much now are we, the taxpayers, dishing out for Drodge to do, once again, one of the Government's unnecessary report?

  • Frank M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    This issue is over. Move on.

    There are much larger issues by which the government can be criticized.

    Health care system, paper mill closures and botched expropriations and a mega project at lower Churchill which probably not happen.

  • Resident
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Great news, this could save a life here in Labraor West, mining town, population 12,000 and growing, a lot of workers from the island come here for work too.

    Obviously our own separate Air Ambulance would be better, and St Antony keep thiers, but when lives are on the line speed is of the essence.

  • Jack
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    If Marshall Dean has any guts whatsoever to stop the Air Ambulance service from relocating to a poor location like Happy Valley - Goose Bay, why doesn't he take the Government to court and get a judge to stop this relocation until a proper consultant is hired?

    As for Trevor Taylor and other Fascists, particularly Danny Williams and Jerome Kennedy, people have a right to vote anyway they want and shouldn't be punished for it.

    Its Danny Williams' fault the Northern Peninsula elected a Liberal when they tried to cut lab services in Flower's Cove, and its their fault this mess occurred in the first place.

    I can't wait for Danny Williams and his fascist government reduced to minority government in the next election so they will learn the consequences of acting like school yard bullies.

    Danny Williams and Jerome Kennedy, Canada is not a dictatorship, its a democracy, remember that.

  • Manuel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    I am all for the move as it isnt a very stragetic placement for this air ambulance.
    With that being said i have to ask why it is being done as the base in Goose Bay has some of the most advanced military medic teams going. They are equipt to do the job much better then this air ambulance.
    Also with that being said why is St.Anthony residents getting so mad? It isnt like that air ambulance is bringing millions of dollars of revenue to their community. This is just a few residents who seem to think that they are more important then the people who need this service. As in labrador which currently doesnt have the service and is in need of it so much more. Would any St.Anthony resident who reads this explain to me why you would refuse these outport communities their ambulance? It isnt like their is no hospital in St.Anthony, as i have had several surgeries there to repair my knee. They are quite advanced for a small community.
    Is it because these outport communities dont deserve it? As im sure we could classify your community as an outport as it is and take everything away because it is better served by people that arent so selfish and in a more modern city.

  • St. John's Resident
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    There should be two Air Ambulances, one in St. Anthony and one in Labrador City. Taking the Air Ambulance out of St. Anthony will result in more fatalities along the Labrador coast. Those people have small clinics that rely on the Air Ambulances to transport them to St. Anthony to save their lives. It's not about generating revenue for St. Anthony, it only takes about thirty mins. for an Ambulance to reach St. Anthony from the Labrador Coast. This location is beneficial to Costal Labrador residents and the Northern Peninsula residents. With that being said, the people in Labrador City also need an Air Ambulance. Why is everyone so quick to speak up and say that they need it more? The purpose of the Ambulance is to save lives of people that can not reach the bigger Hospitals by regular Ambulance. Is one life worth any more or less than another's? It's time for the residents of Labrador and the Northern Peninsula to unite and lobby for two Air Ambulances. If we do not get them than it's time to vote the Danny Williams Government OUT!!! This is just a punishment for the Northern Peninsula for voting Liberal anyway!!

  • Ed.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Mr. Dean and the people of St. Anthony should look at the map of NL. & Labrador, then they will see why the air ambulance should have been stationed in Goose Bay all along. I agree completely that if another plane becomes available it should be stationed in Deer Lake, This would give protection to the south and west coasts.
    This decision is almost too sensible to be made by politicians. Have a nice day.

  • Labradorian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Sounds like some islanders here either don't care, or Want to Acknowledge the reason it is being moved, yes a new one added to Labrador would make us very happy too, but until that happens when need to SOS's here in Labrador. It isn't polictial to us, we are just grateful to have a chance to save a life of a NL'r