Letter to the Editor -
Please allow me space in your letter to editor column of your newspaper to comment on the ongoing debate on the relocation of the air ambulance from St Anthony to Goose Bay.
Despite what was said in the beginning, that there is no need of pitting town against town, it is time for the communities of Labrador to make their position known. My personal feeling is as a resident of Labrador West; while not the best decision, it is better to have it stationed in Goose Bay than St. Anthony. I would prefer if it was stationed in Labrador West, especially when we don't have the diagnostic equipment like a CT scan. How would the people of St Anthony feel if they had no CT scan, no air ambulance and only 1 part time surgeon? Well that's what we are dealing with in Labrador West.
How many people would have to die in Labrador West waiting for an air ambulance before St Anthony would agree with the move? We already had two in the past year. If we are to believe the government when they say they can't afford a third air ambulance then the people of St Anthony should take the position that this is unacceptable and agree with the move. Instead of that they are fighting tooth and nail to keep their air ambulance and basically saying to hell with the people of Labrador.
Much is being made that it was political decision to move the air ambulance from St. Anthony and it was punishment for the people because the present government had lost a by-election. I was touring the Northern Peninsula as a tourist last July and I was surprise to learn that the airport was 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic, from the town of St Anthony. Is that added to response time when you are relying on the air ambulance to save your life? If so, that is unacceptable and I would say it was a political decision to put the air ambulance in St Anthony in the first place. The people of St. Anthony should keep in mind that if a road ambulance were to leave the St Anthony hospital the same time as the air ambulance would leave Goose Bay airport the plane would be on the runway of the St Anthony airport waiting for them.