Medical Emergency Trauma: Why is Helicopter Transport so Important?

June 6, 2019 :: Dale Thacker
Moderated by Larry Elford

In 2004 Dale Thacker got involved as a 1/3 owner in Rangeland Helicopters with Larry Elford and Ian McLeod. Their wish was to bring effective helicopter EMS to the southeastern part of Alberta. They recognized that STARS Air Ambulance was available, but from a trauma perspective considering the “golden hour”, it wasn’t sufficient, and wanted better coverage for the people who call this southern region home.

The Southern Alberta MedicAir Society had also come to similar conclusions about STARS coverage. The combined synergy of these two groups allowed a new project to take flight in the summer of 2007. Dale sold his shares in Rangeland Helicopters at that time and became a volunteer on the fundraising side of the operation now known as HALO (Helicopter Air Lift Operation) He has been a board member for 13 years and Chairman for the last three.

HALO has recently become an Alberta Health Services approved helicopter EMS provider, allowing them a chance to work together and demonstrate ways to help reduce costs of medical emergency trauma services. He will speak on his journey and experiences helping this service in southeastern Alberta become a reality.

Speaker: Dale Thacker

Dale was born in Taber and other than a spell at SAIT College studying Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, he has lived his entire life on a multi-generational farm 2 miles west of Bow Island. It’s an innovative farming operation that grows Spearmint and Peppermint Essential Oils for Wrigley’s, Colgate and other companies and produces dill oil for Vlasics and Oscar Meyer. They have held the contract to supply the flavoring for the dill pickle at McDonalds for the last 11 years.

They also grow wheat, along with Hybrid Seed canola, peas, beans, lentils, hemp and are now even trying out hops. Dale is the Chairman of the Mint Industry Research Councils “distillation committee” and is tasked with improving on-farm distillation across North America.

Dale got his fixed wing pilots license in 1975 and then upgraded to a helicopter license in 1999. This is where he discovered the helicopters unique ability to get to remote locations quickly. He currently flies an Enstrom helicopter on his farm and it allows for crop surveillance and irrigation scheduling using infra-red photography as well as weed scouting and crop maturity checks.

Moderator: Larry Elford

Date: Thursday, June 6, 2019
Time: Doors open 11:30 am, Presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm
Location: Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge
Cost: $14 buffet lunch with dessert/coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required

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