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Additional landing site needed at Thayer

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

THAYER -- The need for another Air Evac landing site in the city of Thayer may become a reality in the near future.

Thayer Alderman Steve Alford said a meeting was held May 3 at Thayer with Jack Bates, an Air Evac official, Thayer Fire Chief Norman Todd, Thayer Police Chief Frank Bernard and local ambulance board member Dr. Howard Mainprise to discuss the possibility of adding a third landing site in the city.

Currently Air Evac helicopters have only two options in Thayer -- the Thayer Airport or Thayer High School.

"The airport is approximately two miles out of town. If the high school football field is in use the helicopter would have to land at the airport," Alford said. He said this would waste valuable time in a medical emergency.

Alford said the Thayer Industrial Park was brought up as a possible third landing site.

"Bates is to get back with us when a helicopter pilot is available. The pilot is going to come down and look the industrial park over and we will go from there," Alford said.

Chief Bernard was in complete agreement with the idea of a third landing zone. "I agree 100 percent. If the helicopter could land at the industrial park it would not only cut down on time to the airport site, but as a law enforcement officer I have to think of the safety issue involved," he said.

The police chief said the industrial park would be a much safer landing zone for the patient involved, the pilot and the crew.

Bernard said he would like to see the airport and the industrial park as the primary landing zones. "We could still use the high school when needed," he said.

Bernard said classes will be needed if the third zone is added. He said he would like to see all the officers, fire fighters and first responders in the city capable of helping land the helicopter from the ground.

Alford said all the councilmen have agreed the industrial park is a good idea for a third landing site and now they are waiting for a pilot to come and survey the industrial park.

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