Waldo General to use new helicopter pad

Posted June 18, 2009, at 11:12 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Waldo County General Hospital will activate its new medical helicopter pad when LifeFlight makes its first official landing there at 9:15 a.m. Friday, June 26.

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the helicopter and crew will remain at the hospital until 3 p.m., unless there is an emergency call. Hospital employees and visitors will be allowed to enter the landing zone to see the helicopter up close and ask questions of the flight crew.

During the day, hospital personnel will attend training sessions on helicopter clinical and ground operations.

The helipad was constructed in cooperation with LifeFlight of Maine and was paid for with proceeds from a state bond.

WCGH averages two helicopter transports a month with LifeFlight of Maine. It now takes about 12 minutes to take a patient from WCGH to the Belfast Regional Airport to be picked up by the helicopter. In that same 12 minutes, a patient picked up at the hospital already could be in Bangor and well on the way to Lewiston or Portland in the medical helicopter, which functions as a small intensive care unit.

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