CentraCare Health – Monticello has resumed helicopter transport services with the opening of a new helipad in the parking lot on the west side of the hospital property.
Earlier this spring, CentraCare Health – Monticello was notified that the existing helipad no longer met the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (DOT) aviation requirements, CentraCare stated in a news release issued late Friday afternoon.
The hospital began exploring options to either bring the existing helipad into compliance or find a location on hospital property that would meet the requirements.
The helicopter will be landing in a clearly marked, designated area in the west lot.
To prepare the helipad site, lighting and orange obstruction balls were added to alert pilots of electrical lines and poles, specific parking lot lights were removed, the landing area was painted to DOT specifications, and rock and vegetation were removed from parking lot islands to eliminate the potential of blowing debris.
Displaced bushes and trees were transplanted elsewhere on hospital grounds.
CentraCare Health – Monticello worked extensively with the DOT and determined the west parking lot was the best location for the helipad at this time.
This is an interim location while the hospital finds a more suitable permanent location. Locating, designing and constructing a permanent helipad location may take up to two years.
“Whenever I hear the thump, thump, thump of the helicopter, my heart skips a beat because I know a life is being saved. A helicopter ride can mean the difference between life and death for some of our sickest patients,” said Mary Ellen Wells, Administrator at CentraCare Health – Monticello. “We are committed to serving this community and to providing care that improves the health of every patient, every day.”