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Ministry's Spirit 2 Helicopter to Move to New Home Submitted: 12/05/2012
WOODRUFF - Ministry's Spirit 2 helicopter will have a new home, but not as soon as originally expected. Plans to build a hangar to house the helicopter have hit a snag in the permitting process.

Right now Spirit 2 is housed at the Oneida County airport. But Ministry Health Care studied flight data and found Howard Young Medical Center to be the most central location relative to the area it serves.

"Ten to 15 minutes of time can be saved depending on the location of the call. And our main concerns are trauma, stroke and heart attacks. In those three scenarios ten to 15 minutes can literally mean the difference between life and death," says Dr. Roderick Brodhead, Howard Young Medical Center Director of Emergency Services.

"The other big advantage is the helicopter crew is able to provide care to patients in the emergency department while they are not making a flight."

Construction was supposed to begin soon but the Town of Woodruff requested Ministry apply for a conditional use permit. It would allow neighbors with noise concerns to be involved in the process.

"We're assessing alternatives right now to make sure that we're not flying directly over the homes of our neighbors, and looking at alternatives to mitigate some of the noise whether it be natural borders, or what can be done to help reduce the noise levels on the ground," says Laurie Oungst, Northern Region Vice President of Hospital Operations.

The site has already been cleared but they're holding off on construction until they have the permit. It's expected to take several months.


Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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