New landing pad to aid in emergencies


A new helicopter landing pad on SpringHill’s property in northern Jackson County could help save time in the event of an medical emergency.

In the past, anyone requiring medical air transport in that part of the county would have been transferred by ambulance to Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cortland, where StatFlight would pick them up.

But now, the emergency medical helicopter can land near the Red Brush pavilion on SpringHill’s property in less than 12 minutes.

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“There’s an added level of comfort in comparison to somewhere that we’ve never landed before,” said Statflight pilot Scott Kramer, a Columbus resident.

SpringHill, in the 2000 block of West State Road 258 near Seymour, is an evangelical Christian organization that hosts thousands of children and families for summer camp, family camp and youth retreats.

Keith Rudge, SpringHill regional director, said he hopes families will feel an extra measure of safety as they drop their kids off at camp or attend a family weekend as a result of these types of proactive efforts.

“While we at SpringHill make every effort to keep our campers and guests safe, we also work to be proactive in planning for the worst,” Rudge said. “Hopefully, we will never even need this.”

Kramer said since the area is already predetermined, which means it has been checked for electrical wires, hanging trees or uneven ground, landing the aircraft will be much faster.

“We don’t have to circle around as many times looking,” Kramer said. “It’s an added safety level.”

Once on the ground, the helicopters, equipped with the same technology and tools as that of a hospital emergency room, can transport patients to Level 1 trauma centers in Indianapolis or Louisville.

The landing zone, celebrated this month by the camp’s staff and emergency personnel who will benefit from the pad, including local fire departments and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, is one of four on the camp’s property.

The three others don’t have pads but are instead open areas that can be used if needed.

Kramer said there are eight other zones scattered around Jackson County that StatFlight can utilize.

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