A new funding model is helping the H.E.R.O. Foundation stay around for at least two more years.
The foundation, which is operated by Phoenix Heli-Flight Inc, uses the HERO 1 helicopter to provide emergency medical services 24/7 in northern Alberta.
President Paul Spring tells Mix News before they received funds through “fee for service” but it never covered the costs of “sitting and being ready” for the patient.
He says they’re now getting funds from the province on a monthly basis.
“We’ve gotten to that magical point where now the fix costs of the service are met which leaves the operational cost up to the foundation.”
Spring notes the foundation is now the most stable it’s ever been.
“It’s always been riding on Phoenix Heli-Flight, it was really the revenue generated by the charter operations of the sister helicopters that funded all the shortfalls on the medical helicopter and now that doesn’t have to happen anymore.”
The extra funds also mean they can continue to make sure no patient has to pay for the service.
“Sometimes you’re in an ambulance and you receive a bill whether from the RMWB or another one, and that’s one thing we never wanted to do, charge our patients.”
Spring adds despite the province and Alberta Health covering the fix costs, the foundation still needs to raise money for the operational side.
“The charitable foundation still needs to raise its portion annually through fundraising efforts in the community – support from unions, businesses, individuals, and fall on to our very successful fundraising event last year.”
Back in March, the foundation hosted Chef Michael Smith at Shell Place for the East Coast Lobster Party.
Spring says early in 2018 they will announce their next big fundraiser which they hope can repeat the success of the Lobster Party.