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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Medical flight crew members prepare a patient for transport to a medical facility on a recent Sunday afternoon from the helicopter pad located near White Rock Fire Station No. 2. The flight marked the first fly-in and launch since the July 15 dedication last year.

On a recent sunny, summer Sunday, a medical helicopter took off from the White Rock Fire Department's helicopter pad.

Crew members were just glad the pilot didn't have to use a spot by a nearby church.

The July 1 takeoff marked the first official landing and launch since White Rock Fire Department crew members dedicated the helicopter pad last year on Saturday, July 15.

White Rock Assistant Fire Chief Fred Parker said crews assessed the medical emergency and determined that the patient needed to be flown to the hospital rather than go by ground transport.

It is believed the patient was transported to a facility in Bentonville.

The helicopter pad, located near White Rock's Station No. 2, is an asset for White Rock neighbors, as well as surrounding communities. Medical helicopters can easily and quickly fly to local hospitals from the remote location.

Parker said the landing and takeoff went smoothly.

"The flight crew had no problem finding the landing zone and touching down," he said. "They said they were impressed with how it turned out and had no complaints or suggestions."

In the past, helicopter crews from Mercy or Freeman Health system have had to use a small field at the nearby Nazarene Church in an emergency. Sometimes, that happened on a Sunday morning.

The helicopter pad is convenient for Station No. 2 crew members, who respond to a great number of vehicle accidents, medical runs and suicide attempts, White Rock Fire Department Fire Chief Joe Lahr said during the dedication last summer.

The dream for such a helicopter pad began more than a decade ago. Crew members faced many obstacles, including clearing the land of numerous pine trees. Crews burned off brambles and hauled off stumps.

Firefighters also raised the money for the project. One hundred percent of the funds came from the community, Parker said.

The landing pad is marked off by green lighting on the boundaries, a red bullet for the center landing spot and yellow lights for an approaching helicopter.

General News on 07/12/2018

Print Headline: White Rock Fire Crew Marks Anniversary Of Helicopter Pad With Launch

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