Larger Heliport Now Open At Rocky Health Centre
Residents in the Rocky Mountain House Region now have improved access to critical care, thanks to the new, larger heliport now being operational. Officials with Alberta Health Services have shared the following news release outlining those details:
The new and bigger heliport at the Rocky Mountain House Health Centre is now operational.
Transport Canada has issued a flight certificate confirming air ambulance helicopters, including STARS, can now land at the Alberta Health Services (AHS) facility.
“We are pleased to announce the heliport is operational in time for the August long weekend,” says Kerry Bales, Chief Zone Officer of AHS Central Zone. “It has been a lengthy process but we have very much appreciated the collaboration with the town and community.”
The new heliport can accommodate both models of STARS helicopters: the BK 117 and the AW139. A town-owned water tower near the flight path had to be removed or painted before Transport Canada could give approval to land at the heliport. The tower was dismantled this spring; the Transport Canada inspection occurred July 26.
“A super job well done,” says Rocky Mountain House Mayor Fred Nash. “It’s been a pleasure working with the professionalism of Alberta Health Services for the betterment of the town of Rocky Mountain House, the county and the many visitors who come here.”
Until now, all STARS helicopters were landing at the Rocky Mountain House airport, located about eight kilometres from the health centre. Ground ambulances were used to transport patients to and from the health centre and airport.
“The ability to have all sizes of medevac helicopters land right here at the Rocky Mountain House Health Centre will improve access for patients who need critical care transport,” says Bales.
STARS helicopters are more than an ambulance in the air; they are sophisticated medical environments brought directly to the patient. This can mean the difference in the health outcome of a patient when time is of the essence.
On board, a full array of medications and equipment is at the disposal of the air medical crew. STARS personnel are able to administer life-saving drugs, defibrillate a patient’s heart, transfuse blood, and peer inside a patient using portable ultrasound.
“Many lives have been saved because of our ability to provide transport and medical expertise to critically ill and injured patients via air ambulance,” says Mike Lamacchia, Vice President of Alberta and Saskatchewan Operations at STARS.
AHS’ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team, including dispatch services, ground ambulances and fixed-wing air ambulances, work with STARS as a key partner to provide an integrated emergency medical response service. STARS physicians, nurses, paramedics and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to be there for Albertans and to save lives 24/7.
AHS spent $430,000 to pay for the tower demolition and the relocation of the town, county and regional fire communication antennas that were located on top of the tower.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
B.C. parent launches class-action lawsuit against makers of Fortnite video game
A child plays the video game “Fortnite” in Chicago, Saturday, Oct.6, 2018. A Vancouver parent has launched a proposed class-action lawsuit against the makers of Fortnite, saying the popular video game is designed to be “as addictive as possible” for children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Martha Irvine
By Chuck Chiang in Vancouver
A Vancouver parent has launched a proposed class-action lawsuit against the makers of Fortnite, saying the popular video game is designed to be “as addictive as possible” for children.
In the lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday, the plaintiff identified only as A.B. says her son downloaded Fortnite in 2018 and “developed an adverse dependence on the game.”
The statement of claim says the game incorporates a number of intentional design choices such as offering rewards for completing challenges and making frequent updates, which encourages players to return repeatedly.
Fortnite creator Epic Games says in a written response released Monday that it will fight the “inflammatory allegations.”
The plaintiff statement says Epic Games enriches itself by making content and customization options purchasable via an in-game currency, which are purchased with real cash.
The class-action lawsuit would still need approval from a judge and none of the allegations have been proven in court.
The plaintiff is seeking damages alleging the game breaches the B.C. Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, as well as for “unjust enrichment” and medical expenses for psychological or physical injuries, among other claims.
“Video games have been around for decades, but Fortnite is unique in that the science and psychology of addiction and cognitive development are at the core of the game’s design,” the court statement says.
It describes the game as “predatory and exploitative,” given its popularity among minors.
Epic Games says the company has had “cabined accounts” in place since 2022, which allow for parents to track their children’s playtime and limit purchases.
Other measures such as a daily spending limit for players under 13 and instant purchase cancellations are also in place, the company says.
“These claims do not reflect how Fortnite operates and ignore all the ways parents can control their child’s experience through Epic’s parental controls,” the statement says.
In the lawsuit, A.B. says her son began playing Fortnite: Battle Royale on a Sony PlayStation 4 game console when he was nine years old. The boy, she said, soon began buying various Fortnite products while adding the game to different platforms at home, including on a mobile phone and a computer.
Since that time, A.B. says Epic Games “received payment for numerous charges” made to her credit card without her authorization. The statement says A.B.’s son spent “thousands of dollars” on in-game purchases.
“If Epic Games had warned A.B. that playing Fortnite could lead to psychological harm and financial expense, A.B. would not have allowed (her son) to download Fortnite,” the statement says.
The lawsuit, if approved by the court, would cover three classes of plaintiffs: an “Addiction Class” of people who suffered after developing a dependence on Fortnite, a “Minor Purchaser Class” that includes gamers who made purchases in the game while under the age of majority, and an “Accidental Purchaser Class” of users who mistakenly bought items due to the game’s design.
The lawsuit would cover all persons affected by Fortnite in Canada except Quebec, where Epic lost its attempt last month to appeal a court decision there to authorize a similar class-action suit.
In the Quebec class-action appeal attempt, Epic lawyers argued the claims that children were becoming addicted to Fortnite were “based purely on speculation,” and no scientific consensus exists on cyberaddiction.
Epic Games also said in the Quebec case that it was not given a chance to argue against the claim that minors who bought Fortnite’s in-game currency were taken advantage of.
Quebec Appeal Court Justice Guy Cournoyer said in his decision that Epic did not demonstrate any significant error on the lower court judge’s decision to authorize the class-action lawsuit in that case.
Epic said in documents made public in a separate legal battle with Apple in the United States that Fortnite made more than US$9 billion combined in 2018 and 2019.
The legal claim in Quebec against the video game maker still needs to be argued in court.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2023.
Alberta program trains rural health-care workers in supporting sex assault victims
Edmonton (CP) – The Alberta government says $1 million in funding is to be used to train rural health-care providers to better support victims of sexual assault.
The money, announced in October, helped Grande Prairie’s Northwestern Polytechnic develop an online course for specialized training.
The course, called Rural Sexual Assault Care-Expanded, teaches how to provide comprehensive, trauma-informed care to survivors of recent sex assaults.
It focuses on assessment, forensic evidence collection and court testimony.
The government says too often sex assault survivors in rural Alberta must drive long distances to access essential care and services.
The funding is to cover the cost of the online course for registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered midwives and doctors in rural Alberta.
“We want to ensure that as many health-care providers as possible have access to training to best support survivors of sexual assault when they are most vulnerable, and no matter where they live in the province,” Tanya Fir, Alberta’s parliamentary secretary for the status of women, said in a news release Monday.
“Alberta’s government is committed to supporting all survivors and ensuring the resources and support they deserve are available to them.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2023.
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