RICHMOND, Indiana — Work is expected to start in the coming months on preparing an eastern Indiana airport as a new base for Indiana University Health's Lifeline medical helicopter service.
The Richmond Redevelopment Commission has approved $170,000 in funding toward a new helicopter hangar at the city's airport and quarters for emergency personnel to be on duty 24 hours a day all year.
Tim Parrott, deputy chief of emergency medical services for the Richmond Fire Department, said a helicopter from Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, can travel to Richmond in about 15 minutes, but the Lifeline service will cut that to just a few minutes. The Lifeline helicopter also will respond to emergencies in nearby Union, Fayette, Henry and Randolph counties to take patients to Indianapolis hospitals.
"This will give us an opportunity for trauma patients and the very sick to get them to treatment sooner," Parrott told the Palladium-Item (http://pinews.co/17YKLwb ).
Greg Stiens, the city's director of public works and engineering, said contract bids on the new facilities will be sought year's end and they could be ready in March at Richmond Municipal Airport, about 60 miles east of Indianapolis.
Airport manager Rodney Mayse said the Lifeline service could start sooner as IU Health officials were considering setting up temporary housing at the airport for personnel as soon as the helicopter hangar is ready.
Information from: Palladium-Item, http://www.pal-item.com