Helipad to soon reopen at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

Once the renovations began on the H-C Hospital campus some years ago – especially the Emergency Room upgrade – the helipad that was used by MAMA alongside the front entrance area was closed.

MAMA began landing on the Zachary Park fields on Buck Creek and that’s where patients had to be transported and where Highlands Fire & Rescue had to standby to ensure the safety of all involved.

Anyone venturing to the H-C Hospital campus recently will notice the two yellow “Aircraft operating area. Give way to aircraft before proceeding” signs.

According to H-C Hospital President/CEO Jackie Medland, the helipad project at the hospital is in the final stages of wrapping up.

“We don’t have a firm “go live” date yet but expect it soon. Once completed, we will return to landing at the hospital rather than at an area on Buck Creek Road.”

There are many pluses to returning to the hospital campus. 

“This will decrease the time it takes to move a patient out of HCH by 10-15 minutes, decrease the use of a local ambulance that is tied up from running 911 calls assisting the flight crew to move the patient and decrease the times the patient is loaded into/out of a vehicle,” she said.

Medland said the hospital has automated much of the equipment involved, including cameras, gates, sign alerts, and badge access, to decrease reliance on people-dependent processes and to insure the safe landing and departure of the helicopter.            

 – By Kim Lewicki, Highlands Newspaper

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