Local HERO Foundation receives $450K boost from Cenovus

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It’s a cash injection that will support critical medevac services.

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This week, the Local Helicopter Emergency Response Organization (HERO) announced a $450,000 donation provided by Cenovus Energy, which will support its dedicated 24/7 medevac program.

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“We are incredibly grateful to Cenovus Energy for their support,” Local HERO Foundation executive director Lorna Ash said in a release. “Their generosity helps enable us to continue the only helicopter emergency medical services program in the region, ensuring that we can quickly respond to emergencies and save lives by saving time.”

This week, the Local Helicopter Emergency Response Organization (HERO) announced a $450,000 donation provided by Cenovus Energy that will be spread over three years. Photo supplied

Whenever there is a medical emergency in the region — whether that’s at a home, worksite, a rural location, in the backcountry, or on the highway — the non-profit responds with two paramedics from Regional Emergency Services, and there is never a charge to the patient.

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In 2022, Local HERO responded to 104 calls for help and provided 64 flight hours of service. In 2023, that increased to 110 calls and almost 88 hours.

For Cenovus, the donation is a win-win.

“Cenovus is committee to supporting local organizations that help keep our communities safe. The local HERO Foundation provides critical, accessible emergency services to the Fort McMurray area,” said Dean Perkins, Cenovus’ senior vice-president of Canadian thermal and conventional heavy oilsands operations. “Safety is our top priority and with operations in the region, our support helps benefit the wellbeing of both our staff and the wider community.”

The donation will be provided over three years.

“The Local HERO foundation extends its sincerest gratitude to Cenovus Energy for their generous support,” the nonprofit stated. “Their contribution will make a lifesaving impact.”

Since 2013, Local HERO has responded to more than 600 missions — all without a single bill sent to the patients.

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