New Helipad Gives SGMC a Leg Up in Saving Lives

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-- Valdosta, Ga. -- October 31, 2012 --

If death is knocking on your door, this flight gives you a fighting chance. South Georgia Medical Center Paramedic Rob Mason said "our biggest enemy when dealing with the critically injured or ill is time."

In an effort to cut down on that time South Georgia Medical Center has just completed work on its new helipad which is only a few seconds from the emergency room. That's a lot shorter than what people used to have to go through.

Last year more than 80 patients were transported in a helicopter just like this one. The only difference is they had to leave from the airport. Meaning it took an additional hour for the ride.

Mason went on to say "an hour can be the difference between life and death."

Saving lives was the most important variable for those involved in the helipads creation.

SGMC's Chief Planning Officer said "I've had family members that have had to be transported by helicopter and if something were to happen to one of my children or one of my family members and they needed that service I certainly would want it to be available to them."

Construction of the helipad took just a couple months, but the idea was first brought up back in 2007. SGMC paid about $225,000 for it.