With just a few days left before his big round the world flight, Santa Claus made a special visit to the Vancouver area.
Aided by BC Emergency Health Services and Helijet International, Santa, one of his most trusted elves and Lynn Byrne, a BCEHS Infant Transport Team paramedic, were ready to take to the sky in a Helijet air ambulance to spread Christmas cheer in four hospitals on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Due to the sudden blast of freezing temperatures hitting the Lower Mainland, the air ambulance was unable to safely fly Santa to local hospitals, so he’s asked to arrive by BCEHS ambulance instead.
After a first stop at Surrey Memorial Hospital, Santa and his crew will also visit the Teck Acute Care Centre, a new landmark building for BC Children’s Hospital, for the first time, having received a personalized invitation from a special young patient.
“Every day, in every season, paramedics and dispatchers work tirelessly to serve communities across the province,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. ”This is a special time of year and thanks to this partnership between Helijet and BC Emergency Health Services, young patients will have the opportunity to meet Santa and experience the magic of the holidays during their stay in hospital.”
ITT paramedics and air ambulance flight crews often meet young patients like these and their families during distressing medical emergencies. The annual air ambulance toy run with Santa provides them with a special opportunity to interact with some of those children and brighten their stays in hospital.
“It’s so rewarding to see the faces of these children when they learn Santa has made a special surprise trip just to come see them,” said Byrne. “I and my fellow paramedics at BC Emergency Health Services care for and transport these children day in and day out, and see the health challenges these brave patients and their families often face. I feel lucky to have been chosen to accompany Santa this year and help make the holidays just a bit better for these young patients.”
Helijet International is a Canadian-owned company and North America’s largest scheduled helicopter service carrying well over two million passengers in the past 30 years. In addition to its scheduled helicopter services, Helijet is a major service provider of dedicated medically equipped helicopters to the BC Air Ambulance Service of British Columbia. Helijet provides exclusive use helicopter and business jet services to world renowned Sport Fishing Resorts, public service and energy companies throughout the West Coast of British Columbia and Pacific North West. www.helijet.com
BCEHS is responsible for the delivery and governance of pre-hospital emergency medical care and inter-facility patient transfer services through the BC Ambulance Service and the BC Patient Transfer Network. BCEHS is supported by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). For more information, please visit www.bcehs.ca or follow us on Twitter @BC_EHS.