Local HERO Foundation exists to promote and deliver 24/7 emergency helicopter services for the people of Northeastern Alberta. Using the best aircraft, technologies and aviation practices we enable emergency personnel to respond quickly for medical emergencies, search & rescue, law enforcement and environmental damage.
Beginning in 1991, Phoenix Heli-Flight provided ad-hoc helicopter medevac services to the Wood Buffalo region. Thousands of patients have received an improved level of care in situations such as motor vehicle collisions, workplace accidents, medical emergencies, and recreational vehicle accidents.
Before 2013, operations had always been limited to daylight hours and a minimum level of weather conditions. With the soaring population and level of activity in the region it became clear that a higher level of service needed to be reached. In 2013, the Local HERO (Helicopter Emergency Response Organization) Foundation was established with the goal of providing 24/7 dedicated medevac helicopter coverage for the region. Night Vision Goggle operations were approved in December 2013 and in July 2014 the Foundation took delivery of a new EC135 T2e helicopter. Since the dedicated program’s inception over 500 medevac missions have been flown.
How We Are Funded
The Local HERO Foundation is currently funded through a tripartite agreement with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the Oil Sands industry, and Alberta Health Services. Each of these supporters provide one third of the fixed funding required to operate the dedicated medevac helicopter program. Our major supporters in the Oil Sands industry include Suncor Energy, Imperial Oil/Kearl, Husky Energy, Pembina Pipeline, and TC Energy. Our program is also supported by the United Way, LiUNA Labourers, Building Trades of Alberta, Coldwell Banker, and Printing Unlimited.
The variable costs associated with each flight hour flown, such as maintenance and fuel, are covered by fundraising performed by the Local HERO Foundation and by donations from our generous community members.