The Royal Inland Hospital Foundation has received $500,000 from the Ralph Emsland family to put toward the hospital’s new patient-care tower, which is expected to be completed by 2022.
“We have been thinking for quite some time about making a donation to RIH Foundation The new patient-care tower with the helipad on the roof was the perfect opportunity for us to contribute to something we believe in, and in an area that has significant meaning to us,” Ralph Emsland said.
“We hope that our contribution will be an example to the community and will encourage others, both individuals and companies, to also donate.”
The current helipad at the hospital requires a short trip by ambulance, but the new pad, to be located atop the tower, will eliminate the need for ambulance transport altogether as patients will be taken via a dedicated elevator directly to the emergency room.
The family also has a strong connection with the current helicopter pad on the hospital grounds and the medivac program.
In the 1980s, Ralph Emsland joined Seymour Air Ltd. with owner Abe Giesbrecht, flying charters and medivacs for the provincial government until the mid-1990s. Emsland started Westcan Aircraft in 1987, selling aircraft and parts, later branching into helicopter leasing. Westair Aviation Inc., their aircraft charter company, provides corporate charter flights across North America.
The Emslands worked on the initial pilot project for the helicopter medivac program in the B.C. Interior.
Ralph and Linda Emsland, both originally from Lloydminster, Alta., moved to Kamloops in 1973 with their two sons, Brett and Blake.
“We’re thrilled to see this donation to the Royal Inland Hospital patient-care tower project,” said RIH health service director Meagan Hanson. “The support the tower is receiving from the Kamloops community, in this case the Emsland family, is heartwarming and we are very grateful for their donation.”